I was hooked the first time the bobber went down. To me that bluegill was like a marlin. I think my Dad was more excited than I was. The same for my son and his son Judah and daughter Kaia. First a bluegill, then a bass, and now a salmon for both grandkids. They are hooked.
What lights our fire about fishing? Why do we fish so early, long, and late? Why so much effort and gear for more and bigger fish? One more cast, this might be the one…The moment the fish hits… The power and acrobatics as it makes a long run… Not knowing who will win the battle.. the fish or you… The beauty of the water in all it shapes and shades…
Or is it deeper? Making contact with something that was invisible, but is now making itself known… Being amazed at how fish are designed for speed and power… The friends and family who share these adventures with you… The conversations that happen when we are free from our land constraints…
Will our next generations feel this fire and carry it forward? Will they see it as too boring or too complicated to bother, or an obsession to avoid?
A lot of that is up to us. What do we focus on; competition, size, quantity of fish, or enjoying the people and places along the way? Are we helping them with knowledge, skills and equipment that help them succeed as much as possible?
We can be contagious. They can catch our joy in the process, see our patience as they learn, feel our love for them. We can invite others to join us. Our kids can learn to be generous when we include others because it is too good to keep to ourselves.
We can help new people to enter the stream. Many a 40 year old man has told me, “I’d like to take my kids fishing. But I don’t know anything about it. Nobody ever showed me how.” As we share our knowledge, skills and equipment, we help them overcome the obstacles that prevent many people from fishing. And soon, they are hooked.
Could these principles also be true about “fishing for men”?
Matthew 4:19 Jesus said, “Follow me, I will make you fishers of men.” He lives in those who have received Him. He promises to equip them to go where the fish are and invite them into the kingdom.
Acts 1:8 You shall receive power to be my witnesses, in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth.” He promises power beyond ourselves to fish for men, close to home, and far offshore.
We can ask Him to work through us, to be contagious with joy and appreciation of the people and the process. We can expect God to connect us with people in powerful ways, to take us on awesome adventures. He can equip us with knowledge, skills and equipment. Then we can pass these on to others. We can invite others into something too wonderful to keep to ourselves.
What greater adventure than allowing Him to fish for men through us?What better “trophy” than seeing someone connected with God, rescued for eternity? How satisfying to see our next generations hooked on fishing for fish and fishing for men.