I’ve never been excited about fishing. When we took our children fishing, I always took along a book and relaxed and read. My husband however, spent most of his time baiting hooks and taking off fish. Not too much fun for him. With five children, he was busy. And, since we fished off a boat, it could be a little scary with hooks flying about. Thankfully no one was ever injured.
This past week, we took three of our grandsons fishing. So here we were…fishing again (well, we were with those who were fishing). But, these boys were old enough to bait their own hooks and remove their own fish – if they caught anything. They were all excited and anxious to be the first to catch the big fish. Well, after a couple of hours, no one had caught a fish. There had been a few catches of moss but no fish. They had each lost a fishing lure but no fish. Well, those teenage boys moved from one spot to another. They switched bait. Back and forth they went. What a time. They were discouraged and disappointed but persevered. I never knew teenagers could be so patient! One plus was that it was so quiet, grandpa got a quick nap in.
I started thinking about the passage in Matthew where Jesus called Simon (Peter) and Andrew to follow Him and they would become “fishers of men”. When you fish, something has to lure the target (whether it is fish or men). Jesus was the lure (for a life lived to the fullest). He was the cure (for all that ails us or assails us). Our job as “fishers of men” is to lure people to Jesus. They must see Him living in and through us. If we are living as we should as followers of Christ, His light and His love will be seen in us. We are now the lure. Jesus is the catch!
There is someone else though who is fishing for men. His lure is temptation, self-gratification, sin itself. His name is Satan and he is after our souls. He lures us with many different kinds of bait, all tailor made for us (our weaknesses). He is crafty. He can even make it look like a good thing. He is a deceiver, a distractor, a liar! We must be on guard and not “take the bait”. Just like the fish on this day with our grandsons, we must resist the urge to get “hooked” on whatever sin Satan puts in front of us. Just like a fish can end up in the frying pan, so can we. Taking his bait can be deadly.
I will never look at fishing the same way again. It’s not boring; it is a life lesson. Whose bait/lure will I follow? Jesus or the evil one? The decision is mine (and yours). I want to fish for men with the love of Christ. I hope and pray my life reflects that choice.
Oh, by the way…there was a fish caught that day. Just when we were about to pack it all up, one of the boys caught a fish. They all got so excited that even though it started raining, they wanted to fish on…in hopes that they could all catch a fish (competition you know). But, it eventually rained so hard we had to go. No more fish caught that day. We had a fun anyway and I received a good visual lesson. Until next time…fish on!