They were men of great capabilities. They excelled in their fields. They were masters of waters, having core competencies in navigating sea waves as fishermen.
But one day, they were on the Sea of Galilee, legendary for its shallow depth – the lowest freshwater and second-lowest lake on earth. Fed by River Jordan, with the Golan Heights by the side, a wave easily gathered momentum causing problems along the paths.
In the Bible, much of the ministry of Jesus occurred on the shores of Lake Galilee. In those days, there was a continuous ribbon development of settlements and villages around the lake and plenty of trade and ferrying by boat. The Synoptic Gospels of Mark (1:14–20), Matthew (4:18–22), and Luke (5:1–11) describe how Jesus recruited four of his apostles from the shores of Lake Galilee: the fishermen Simon and his brother Andrew and the brothers John and James. One of Jesus’ famous teaching episodes, the Sermon on the Mount, is supposed to have been given on a hill overlooking the lake. Many of his miracles are also said to have occurred here including his walking on water, calming the storm, the disciples and the miraculous catch of fish, and his feeding five thousand people (in Tabgha). In John’s Gospel the sea provides the setting for Jesus’ third post-resurrection appearance to his disciples (John 21).
On that day, the disciples, masters of waters, had their capabilities tested. Four of them were recruited by Christ while working on that very Sea. The waves were ferocious but the men trusted their skills. Then, they gave up, and asked for help. “Peace be still” were words, and the storm stopped.
Our education, networks, and experiences are things we cherish. We use them to navigate careers. But there are things so powerful: preventing the possibilities of storms or when they do happen, having higher mentors (or plans) to stop them.
Today’s labour market is like the Sea of Galilee. Technology-driven dislocation and globalizations are major challenges. It requires Alternate Plan just in case the skills become momentarily unhelpful just as the fishermen saw themselves nearly imperiled in a sea.
We can’t out-plan all career storms. That calls for the need of a higher mentor? Or alternatively, what is your alternate plan? You need to have the capacity to “hear” that Peace be Still in case a storm comes. The disciples were in the right company. You need to make sure you have one as you juggle the challenges of building careers in the 21st century.