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Sunday Message for January 28, 2024


Today we are talking about Your Unique Way in this world.

It says in (Luke 5:1-11)
Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets.
He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch."
Simon answered, "Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets."
When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break.
So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink.
But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!"
For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people."
When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

The men had been fishing all night, their little boats bobbing silently on the lake of Gennesaret. Not a fish was to be caught, and at dawn they headed back to shore with empty nets.

In the morning, Jesus told Simon Peter, one of the fishermen, to put out for the deeper water and cast their nets. Peter was confused by this, questioning how there could be fish out there when there had been no catch all night. Set out they did, however, and their nets hauled up so many fish that the boats almost sank.

It is easy to fish in shallow waters, the waters where everyone else fishes. No one will ever question you for fishing where everyone "knows" you should fish. It's safe to stay in those waters, because that's where you are "supposed" to fish. You won't even be criticized for pulling in an empty net and catching nothing. People will understand.

Yet Jesus very clearly enjoined those men to launch out into the deep. Those deeper waters were not the accepted place to fish, as everyone knew. Why would they want to venture out into the unknown? Wouldn't they be ridiculed, misunderstood? And wouldn't it be risky to test new waters?

And in those days they didn't even have google which illustrates the 7 best ways to catch deep water bass. There is the Carolina Rig which is the most basic and easiest way. Then there is the Football Jig, the Drop Shot, the Deep Diving Crank, the Flutter Spoon, the Swimbait, and the Bucktails. So they didn't have Google, but they did have Jesus and their faith in him.

And then Jesus challenged these men to REALLY launch out into the deep. He asked them to follow him as disciples. Why would they want to venture out into the unknown? Wouldn't they be ridiculed, misunderstood? And wouldn't it be risky to test new waters?

In a word, yes. But the lesson was given to us to show that if we are to reap the harvest, we need to launch out into untested waters, for that is where the true rewards are to be found.

You have traveled your spiritual path because you had felt unfulfilled in the shallows. You are making your way in the untested waters, away from the ordinary, casting the nets of your vision into unproven territories where most people are afraid to go. But that is where the treasure lies. It is your own unique way.

Your soul makes you unique and that is what holds your super power. Think of your soul or spirit it doesn't matter what you call it being created in a vortex of love. A super intelligence, or God, or the Universe has a master design plan and decided to create you for a reason. That reason, you must discover for yourself. If you can really get your mind around that, you will see how really huge that is.

Even if you have been here thousands of times, playing different roles in each life, your soul was created by the divine because it loves you and needs you. You wouldn't have been created if that were not true. That alone makes you the most unique person in the world. Of course, all of us are the most unique persons in the world. The magnitude of that is beyond comprehension.

Do you wonder what makes you different from everyone else? Are you looking for an answer to "What makes me special and unique?" that is more meaningful than just your fingerprints or a spiral of DNA?

Understanding how each of us is unique is an essential part of questioning who we are and why humanity exists. To help you find an answer to this ancient and universal question, we offer a new way of looking at things.

Your potential, made up of things such as your gifts and talents, describes in detail who you are. And that description is so detailed it defines how you are unique on this planet.

Just as no two snowflakes are alike, you are like no one else. You are the only one who has your exact combination of the 30+ ingredients that define your work potential. So that is why there has been only one Beethoven, one Michelangelo, one Churchill, one Da Vinci, one Gandhi -- and why there will be only one you.

Our potential is a paradox that makes us at the same time both a part of the human family and unique within that family. We are united by our having gifts, talents, life callings, and dreams of an extraordinary life. But we are each unique because all of our gifts, talents, life callings and dreams are different.

Take a moment and think about this. How many people on the planet have the talent to figure out how to make rocket fuel from the soil on Mars? How many people have a gift for tracking, monitoring and deciphering whale songs so they can save the species? How many people have the talent to recognize how native medicinal plants growing in the Amazon can cure cancer? How many people have the talent to crack the code of DNA or invent an artificial kidney?

And here we are only talking about one gift or talent. In our experience everyone has at least 5 to 10 uncommon skills they excel at. If you can sing, calculate odds, track bird migrations, or know which direction is north better than 100 random people or your high school class -- your gift puts you in the top 1% of the population.

When you start calculating the odds as you add in more of your gifts and talents -- your combination of 5 skills means you are one in ten billion likely to have that combination. That is more people than are alive on the Earth today. And when you add in the other 25 + ingredients of your work potential, you get numbers that are astronomical.

These types of odds make you a unique expression within the universe -- and yet you are just one of the billions of expressions of life on this planet. And this is the crux of this paradox -- you are both truly unique and one of a countless multitude at the same time. Along with this knowledge of uniqueness comes responsibility. For if you are a truly unique expression of life, then only you have the gifts, talents and potential to excel at the unique tasks which define your destiny and your life calling. No one else can fulfill the life calling you are uniquely qualified for. If you do not do it, it will go undone, or done by someone else in a very different way.

We often refer to the human race as a contest and focus on who is winning and who is falling behind. But perhaps the race also is not just about winning, but who shows up to run it, and the type of race they run. Many times, the victor is the person who makes the race their own.

In your race through life, do you have all the information and tools you need to express your unique potential and live an extraordinary life before you run out of time, health, love and wisdom?

You are not an adolescent anymore - not physically, emotionally, or spiritually. You are a person on a journey, questing for the realization of the presence of God and all which that implies.

(Isaiah 64:8) Yet, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.b

Look at yourself in the mirror. Look into your eyes. Ask yourself, "What's it all about?" The answer will come that it's about giving of yourself, giving of your uniquely special gift which makes you you.

Psalms 139:13-14 For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.c

We all have a gift. Each of us is born with something unique to express, to do, to become. It is your responsibility to discover your unique gift. What is it? Do you already know?

Once having been discovered, the gift is developed and nurtured and then it is given back. Once the nets are filled in the deep waters, the fish are brought back to shore and used to feed people. Your own unique gift must also be used to help others. It is the only way you can really feel fulfilled.

Before you began to fish in the deep waters, you probably (if you are like most of us) looked to others to give to you, to fulfill you. Now you see that real joy comes from giving back, from being authentically you and sharing that authenticity with those around you.

There are certain people whom we, personally, enjoy being with or listening to or watching on television. As we began to analyze it, we discovered that these people are about as diverse as people can get. The next and really surprising discovery we made was that these people talked about things in which we have not even the slightest interest!

We love to watch a certain chef on television, for instance. We watch with fascination as she discusses French cuisine and puts together elaborate gourmet meals. We also enjoy seeing a home carpentry show, where the host might be constructing a cedar chest or rocking chair. We especially like a television program which shows the intricacies of planting and managing a vegetable garden.

This puzzled us, since we are not intrigued by gourmet food, have not the slightest interest in doing any cabinetmaking, and don't have the time to plant a garden. Why then, we wondered, are we so captivated by these various people?

It occurred to us that the people which we enjoy so much have one thing in common: they are being true to themselves. Each one is genuine - totally absorbed in what he or she is doing and not afraid to be an authentic individual, even when it means launching out into the deep waters where others do not fish. In fact, they are unique and interesting, with so much to offer, because they dare to cast their nets in the deep, without concern for playing it "safe."

In her excitement, the gourmet chef often drops food on the floor, she'll wipe her counter up with a less than spanking clean towel, she'll pat the fish she's about to bake and speak lovingly to it! She is so enthusiastic about creating the meal that she doesn't even care. She is too busy enjoying being her authentic self, and so we enjoy it too.

The cabinetmaker is so skilled with his tools, so totally absorbed in creating his furniture and in being his authentic self, that we enjoy watching him work even though there are long periods of silence as he becomes totally engrossed in his woodworking.

The horticulturist is so on fire with love and excitement about his plants and seeing them grow that we enjoy watching him be his authentic self, in spite of the fact that we have little interest in his subject.

These people were set apart by their own unique Genetics, Physical Characteristics, Personality, Attitude, Perspective, Habits, Intellect, Goals, Experiences, Relationships, Creativity, Passion, Communication, Humor, and Taste.

Those who are being what they were meant to be and sharing their authenticity with others are not usually found in the shallows. They are not afraid to "march to a different drummer," as Thoreau said. The authentic ones hear a different beat than the masses hear. They are not concerned that they might appear to be "out of step." They don't care at all if they are!

You yourself are now marching to a different drummer. You have heard the call and launched out for the deeper waters. The treasure of living a God-guided, God-centered life is yours. You are an authentic being, overflowing with the richness of your unique gift. If you have still been occasionally casting your nets into the shallow waters, now is the time to launch out fearlessly. The nets can only be filled with the treasure when they are no longer cast where the treasure is not.

Push away from the shore. Fear not, for it is the way you have chosen. It is your own unique way and belongs to you alone. Dare to be yourself.

So to recap:
In order to be authentically you, it is necessary to travel in untested waters, apart from the crowd.

The treasure is to be found in the untested waters.

You are born with a unique gift to express, which must be used to help others.

It is now time to launch out, fearlessly, into deeper waters.

aLuke 5:1-11
bIsaiah 64:8
cPsalms 139:13-14

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