For the last three years our family has ended the current year and started the next in Sanibel, Florida. Sanibel is known for seashells, beaches, and not having a great deal to do. There is no pressure to do anything here because there is nothing in particular to do. Sanibel is an extended Sabbath at year’s end.
My son, Noah, and I, interrupt the nothingness, however, to go fishing. We are not fishermen by any stretch, but we are smart enough to hire a guide and let an expert take us. So yesterday, Captain John, loaded us up and led us on to Estero Bay.
Captain John nailed it.
Every fisherman I know has a story or two, and now Noah and I have one. For three hours it was cast, splash, hit, cast, splash, hit – over and over, reeling them in. I had never seen fishing be a nonstop sport until yesterday, and yesterday, nonstop it was.
Over the course of the afternoon a few other topics came up. Captain John asked ‘What is it like being a pastor? Never had a church guy on the boat before… He told us about his mom dying of cancer, and how his business is set up as a nonprofit to make a donation to cancer research for each group he takes. The Kingdom is being built in this way.
Noah took it all in. Listening to two dads (Captain John has a 3 year old) talk about deeper parts of life is part of what fishing is all about. You somehow hope a little wisdom drifts in among the waves.
As it is with me, all things are Biblical – the Bible is the story – and it was easy to remember a line Jesus put out to his soon to be disciples early on when he said, Come with me, and I will make you fishers of men – Matthew 4:19.
I have spoken and listened to many takes on this verse all of which I suppose were fine. Here is the thing with Jesus, though. He puts you in places to know his word. You have to do it, and when every cast is bringing in a fish you begin to see how every word, action, and gesture on our part is a way to draw everyone we know closer to God. Following Jesus means becoming aware of the impact we have on others.
The day ended, time well spent. My friends asked for pictures to verify all the fish we caught – I told them we were too busy reeling them in…true. Amidst all the fishing, though, Jesus was also casting out some lines of his own.
There was a deeper truth he wanted us each to know.
I think he hopes we caught it.
(thanks for reading, if you found Jesus in this please comment and share)