Like the disciples in the Bible, many of us may find it tempting, when discouraged, to go back to old ways of thinking and acting. And if we revert to those familiar ways, we may find we come up empty, as some of Christ Jesus’ disciples did after one long, fruitless night fishing near the end of their three years with him. But in the face of their despair and resulting failure, they were receptive to Jesus’ question and instruction: “Children, have ye any meat? . . . Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find.” The result? “They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes” (John 21:5, 6).
Over the years, I have frequently returned to that account for inspiration. One time in particular this passage brought life-changing results. Yearning to stay at home with our preschool-age children, I still wanted to remain available to those calling for help through Christian Science prayer, as I was just getting started in the public practice. But I was also needing to contribute regularly to our family’s income, so I’d been praying and listening for the next step. In talking with neighbors, safe, consistent child care was clearly desired. Opening a day care seemed “nearest right under the circumstances” (Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 288) in order to be with our children and contribute financially, even though I wouldn’t be as readily available to those requesting Christian Science help.
I completed all the forms and received my day-care license, but when I sent out invitations for the first session, no one signed up. Turning to the Bible, I opened once again to that passage in John, and humbly asked God to show me how to “cast the net on the right side.” The answer came—clear and unexpected. Starting a day care was not the way, because it didn’t accommodate the healing practice, which was opening up. The quiet conviction came to me to take work that would allow me to be a support to both our family and those calling for prayerful help.
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