Whew, time surely does fly these days, doesn’t it? I think it has something to do with the aging process…right?
When I visited the park this afternoon after a light rain, my favorite picnic table was a little wet. I had planned to sit and relax while I worked on some correspondence and then read a little to begin preparing for next Sunday’s lesson. Instead, I decided to walk over to the little wooden deck that jutted out over the pond.
As soon as I arrived I stopped to lean on the railing and look down into the murky water. I wasn’t there a full minute before I saw a lot of small bream congregating just below me. They weren’t scared of my movement but appeared to be waiting for something. If I had wanted to catch any fish this would be the time to do it, although they were probably four inches or less in length. What an opportunity! They were swimming around right below me. Little did they know that if I had a net I could have scooped all of them right out of their familiar surroundings, but it would have taken about 50 of them to make a decent meal.
Realizing they were waiting for food, I went back to my car for some cheese. As I stood there pinching off little pieces and dropping them to the water below, I began to think about how I could apply this spiritually. Jesus never missed an opportunity to reach out to those in need, giving them food or water or encouraging them to accept Him, the Living Water, Who could give them eternal life.
Jesus went fishing as He walked along the dusty paths during His ministry on earth. He called His first disciples in Matthew 4:19 when He said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Fishing for souls. Not fish. But several of the disciples were actual fishermen by trade, so this statement by Jesus was definitely well understood by those He called as His closest followers.
I could have gone fishing today…for little bream. But I didn’t. I just fed them, which brought me joy. I’m sure the fish enjoyed it, too, judging by how fast they darted when a bite of food hit the water’s surface.
I could have also gone fishing for souls today. Did I? No. Well, I didn’t see anyone out at the park to talk to other than one of the workers there. I have asked him to visit my church, and He is a believer already.
Maybe I need to be a little more purposeful in planning my “fishing” trips. Am I putting myself in situations with non-believers? Have I prayed for the Lord to prepare my heart and then prompt me concerning where to go and who to talk to?
I want to be an obedient follower, to be a fisher of men. But it doesn’t just happen. I must be purposeful, be prayerful and then be faithful.
Fishing for man’s eternal soul is a whole lot more rewarding than fishing for little bream in a murky pond.
Just food for thought. I hope it makes you think as well. 🙂