It was the perfect day. I went fishing a few weeks ago. I haven’t fished in years. I was pleasantly surprised to discover I can still cast a decent line. As I mentioned, it was the perfect day. Cool spring-time 70 degrees in Alabama under a crystal blue sky. A gentle breeze was blowing which prevented overheating while waiting on “the big one”. Birds were singing. Bees were pollinating. I was in the company of a good friend and our granddogs. Life, this side of heaven, just doesn’t get much better.
One of the dogs loves to fetch sticks. He will bring his chosen branch and lay it near you. He will patiently wait for you to notice said limb needing to be thrown. You can feel the hole being bored through you if there is a delay in his play. He will pick up the stick and incrementally drop it closer to your feet until it is on top of them.
Oblivious to his plank resting atop my foot I drank in the surrounding scenery. I found myself wondering what it was like to catch fish with a net the way Peter did in the Bible. I noted the birds singing, the bees pollinating…oh, look there’s a butterfly…. I was drawn back to my physical location by someone calling my name. My friend was asking me what was going on with my line. My line? Seems the way the bobber was bouncing around upon the water my 3 worm hook just might have snagged something. Something other than one of the several lost rods resting in the bottom of the lake. Present and aware, I began reeling “it” in. My friend called out to stop. Turns out most of my line was on the lake’s bank rather than on my reel. The dogs and the chewed up stick were tangled in the line.
My friend took charge. He began to untangle that twisted mess while he fuss-cussed the dogs. He periodically asked them what they were thinking and logically pointed out to the animals the need to stay out of the path of fishing lines. With order finally restored, we resumed fishing. The day’s fish tally was Friend: 1 Me:0. This was pointed out to me later in the afternoon. I am due another fishing expedition, needless to say.
The day’s events got me thinking… as Christians we are called to fish. Jesus’ call to Peter and Andrew was to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men. (Matthew 4:19)
There’s a whole lot more to fishing than just the ability to cast a line or a net into a body of water. We need the right equipment and the knowledge in how to use. We need to know the habitat and the depth of the water. We need to know just what type of fish we are fishing for. What is their favorite food? What is the best time and season to catch them? With all these elements in place and the line cast, we wait. All the while observing that line for the slightest tug of a bait-nibbling fish.
These thoughts led to a question: Do we, as Christians, take the same amount of time and care as we seek to reach those who don’t know Jesus as we do in catching a wiggly fish?
My friend’s faithful patient wait yielded a pretty bass. It was exciting to watch that beauty being reeled in. There was a small celebration before his catch was released back into its home. That one fish was worth the mini trial of the day.
Let’s follow Jesus. Learn His ways in relating to people and catch some fish. There is to be a major party we will be celebrating for about one eternity called The Marriage Supper of the Lamb at the end of the day. (Check out the book of Revelation) Imagine what it would be like to see a few people there whom you invited…