“Leaving It All Behind” – Solo Piano Improvisation for Prayer, Worship, Reflection
The inspiration for “Leaving It All Behind” came from a familiar story in the Holy Bible. I was reading this passage in Luke this week and something awakened me that I’d never quite seen before:
(1) On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, (2) and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. (3) Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
(4) And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” (5) And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” (6) And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. (7) They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.
(8) But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” (9) For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, (10) and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”
(11)And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.The Holy Bible, Luke, Chapter 5, Verses 1-11, ESV
For those who have read the Bible or grew up in a Christian church, this is a classic story that you’ve heard many times. Several things in this story captivated me as I read the story this week; however. First, there is the faith to honor the request to “let down your nets for a catch”. Peter and his team must have been exhausted after working all night with no results. Yet, he followed through with this request anyway and had a miraculous catch.
Notice I said “Peter and his team”. This is the first time that I realized that Jesus just got involved in the middle of these men’s business enterprise. Peter’s boat was part of a fleet of boats with many fishermen in a partnership. In Verse 7, it says “they signaled to their partners in the other boat”. This wasn’t just Peter’s occupation – this was a partnership.
Finally, the thing that amazed me was the fact that Peter and his partners, James and John, left it all behind. Here’s what I’ve always missed – I’ve always known they forsook their careers and followed Jesus. But I had never really processed the reality that they left more than a career behind. Do you remember what they had just accomplished? A miraculous catch of fish. This represented a LOT of income for them. It’s like “Black Friday” except you leave all the earnings in the cash register and leave.
The Bible doesn’t tell us what happened with all of those fish. Maybe they arranged for them to be sold. Maybe they gave them away. I don’t know. All I know is this: with a record catch worth lots of money, they dropped everything and left it all behind.
I’d love to invite you to meditate on this story as you listen to the interlude today. Think about what you have, what you are doing, and what you may leave behind. What calling or dreams are you facing where you need to be “all in”?
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