A Miracle Parable to Learn From
Many anglers will be out casting their lures this month, looking for the catch of the summer, or at least a great fish tale to tell. One of my favorite fish tales isn’t about “The Big One”; rather it’s a parable right out of the Bible, retold by one of my favorite personal development coaches, Jim Rohn.
Though he passed away in 2009, Rohn was such a charismatic storyteller and funny teacher that much of his material lives on. Search his name and “Jesus the Miracle Worker” on YouTube, and you’ll hear the full version of the story that inspired this month’s cover. (It doesn’t matter if you believe in Jesus, something else, or nothing; the lesson still applies.)
As Rohn relays, one of Jesus’ disciples came to him and told him it was time to pay his taxes, but he didn’t have any money. Jesus responded, “No problem. Just go fishing.” Since this disciple, Paul, was a fisherman, that was an easy solution for him. Jesus went on to tell Paul to look in the mouth of the fish he caught.
So Paul goes to the water and casts his lure and comes up with a fish. He opens its mouth and inside he finds coins in the exact amount he owes. A miracle!
And what is a miracle? It’s something that happens that we can’t quite explain.
While you may not have netted a fish with a mouthful of coins, you can probably relate easily to Rohn’s next example of a miracle: planting a seed from which a tree grows. The thing is, to make the tree grow, the gardener doesn’t have to do much work. They plant the seed and do some tending, but by and large, Mother Nature does the heavy lifting. The moral of the story is, though, that the miracle of the tree will not happen without you doing the work of planting the seed.
A botanist can probably tell you the precise processes at work that turn the seed into a seedling and eventually a full-grown tree that bears fruit year after year while feeding the birds and bees, but the sum is greater than the parts. It still feels miraculous to most of us.
In order to witness that or any miracle, we have to do the work to get it going. Rohn talks about surrounding yourself with people who are committed to doing whatever it takes to make miracles happen in their own lives. That doesn’t mean they sit around and wish and hope.
Instead, they wake up early and work hard. They read books to learn. They strengthen their skills and expand their networks. They do whatever it takes. And then they bear the fruits of that labor. Often their hard work is returned multiple times over. Things align. Stuff just works out. But it’s not fate or good fortune, as easy as it might be to chalk it up to that. It’s really the work they’re putting in to plant that initial seed and then another and another.
You might not think to look in a fish’s mouth for coins, but if you keep casting your lure, you’re sure to net a big one sometime!