Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Fine Art of Fishing

Growing up, I despised fishing.  Yes, despised.  The fish (IF they really were under that water somewhere) were way down deep, and me, well I was up above the water and I had to keep completely quiet and still lest I scare them away.  That never made any sense to me.  Don't get me started on how I felt about baiting my hook with live, slimy worms...of various sizes, sliminess, and general yukiness.  Come to think of it, because that's how I felt about worms and baiting my hook, I refused to bait my hook and whoever was nuts enough to take me fishing had to bait it for me.  That nut was usually my Daddy.  Somehow I don't have very many memories of going fishing.  Oh well!

Fish must have sensed my feelings because they would jump on all hooks around me and leave me catchless.  What a waste of time!  My all time favorite fishing story is when I was in high school, my family vacationed at Nags Head and took a friend of mine with us for the week.  My Daddy got all 5 of us on a chartered deep-sea fishing expedition.  The boat was filled; 77 of us fisher-people out to catch "the big one."

I can see it now.  My Mama, me, my friend, all in a row.  All with rods and reels.  Somewhere on that boat were my Daddy and brother.  They probably didn't want to be seen with us.  Everyone on that boat was hauling 'em in.  My Mama even caught a fish.  It was deformed and she threw it back.  No joke, my friend immediately caught that same deformed fish.  She threw it back.  I never did catch anything, not even that deformed fish!  A deformed fish bypassed me and went from my Mama to my friend.  Fish despised me, too!  When that boat landed, drum roll please, I was the only person out of the 77 on board that caught absolutely nothing!!!!

Fast forward 30-some years to the present.  Somewhere along the way Jesus found me by my own "Sea of Galilee" and he didn't care about my fishing history.  He didn't actually take me fishing but he told me to go  fishing.  Up until today I thought I still wasn't catching any fish.  I thought "fishing" and "catching" only counted if someone who didn't know Jesus came to Jesus because of something I said or did that created an "aha" moment for them and they bowed to Christ.

I was tremendously blessed to be told today, by a fish that just about got away, that Jesus has used me, me!!, to reel her back in.  There are a lot of fish like her that are wriggling off their hook or who have actually been thrown back by other fisher-people who need to know that the Great Fisherman has a place in his boat for all fish!   He doesn't look at any of us and say, "Now, that's one deformed, troubled fish!  Back in the water you go!"  No fisher-person that He has called to go fishing should fish with that attitude either.

There's one less fish trying to wriggle off her hook to go swimming aimlessly in the water.

And I am grateful.

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Thank you.