“Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey”
Have you ever heard that phrase? It’s pretty much the shortcut to remember which way things turn and it’s question #4 on the test of manhood. Except it’s not always right.
For example, if you’re trying to put new pedals on a bicycle by following the above rule, than you’re going to quickly become frustrated because they screw on the opposite way. Having three kids, I learned this the hard way, and taught my neighbor this the other day as well.
Sometimes rules and shortcuts aren’t as helpful as we think they are. (tweet that)
We are a people of habit though and we love our rituals. We can’t help it. Our brains are designed so that once a habit is learned, neural pathways are formed that make that habit easier over time.
That’s the physiology behind developing discipline and habits. That’s also why changing habits are so incredibly hard. There’s only one problem with that though. Habits and discipline don’t always lead to doing things the right way. And what is the right way anyways?
One of my most favorite stories takes place in John 21.
Let me set the scene for you.
Some of Jesus’ disciples are out at night on the lake fishing. Again. That’s what they did after all, and I can only imagine that normally they gained some peace and clarity from that exercise. Only today is different.
It’s been awhile since their teacher, leader, mentor, Jesus, was brutally killed and they all ran and fled like scared little kids. They probably weren’t feeling too good about themselves. So they went out to do something that normally made them feel good. They were doing things the same way they always had, they were doing it the right way, or so they thought, but it wasn’t working.
They weren’t catching any fish.
Then, as the sun is coming up, from a distance they see a man on the shore. He was calling out to them, and asked them if they had caught anything. With what I can only imagine sounded like shame, they responded with a no.
What follows next is perhaps the most amazing sentence for you to read today.
Can you just imagine what that moment must have felt like?
Of course they come ashore and realize it’s Jesus and are elated even further.
What this has made me realize is that for quite some time this year I’ve been doing some things according to what others have said is the right way, or even by what I have thought to be the right way. But frankly, it hasn’t been working out all too well. So I’ll be spending the fall on changing things up and trying new ways of doing things.
I won’t go into more specifics now, but let me ask you this question.
Are you doing whatever it is you’re doing, because someone has said it’s the right way of doing it? Is it producing the results you want?
If it is, then great! Ignore this and move on, but if not then dig a little deeper with me.
Maybe it’s time to throw your nets on the other side of the boat and see what happens.
Maybe it’s time to ignore those people telling you how to do it and maybe it’s time for you to write your own script.
What are you doing that could benefit from throwing your nets on the other side of the boat?