I love to fish. Fishing for me is relaxing, peaceful. From boat or shore I throw out a line and enjoy the view. I listen to birds, water, wind, God. Watch fish jump, birds dive, trees sway and creation dance. Feel warmth of sun and cool of breeze. Nice. So far so good.
Then, invariably my wife catches a fish. I grab net. She reels I coach, which is unnecessary, she knows what to do. With fish in boat I congratulate outside, inside I think, “Great and it was going so well, until now.” As I remove the hook it occurs to me I like to fish, just fish.
Catching? Now that is an entirely different story. Catching is work. My wife likes to catch. She will patiently fish with the same lure for hours. I change lures about every five minutes or so. I use snap swivels for ease of changing and lures that won’t catch weeds, won’t catch the bottom and may not even catch fish but they’re comfortable. My dad, he likes to catch too. Dad will do what it takes to catch. He’ll tie on lures if need be to keep the snap swivel from scaring fish. That’s plumb too much work if you ask me.
Then, to top it off, if you catch ‘em, you gotta clean ‘em. Yep, I like to fish. Just fish.
It occurs to me while cleaning these stinkin’ things, my kind of fishing is like Christendom in many ways.
I sit in beautiful church watch beautiful people sway to beautiful music. And listen to beautiful words flow from beautiful pulpit. I wonder. “Where’s the fish?” I talk to other Christians, shake hands and say, “Praise the Lord, all is well.”
I’m enjoying the ride but I’m not catching any fish, it’s too much work.
Jesus said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” If I’m not really trying to catch fish am I really fishing?
Lord help me. I’m willing to work and ready to do what it takes to catch. You helped Peter and the boys launch out into the deep for a catch, help me.