12/04/2023 by Rev. Doug Walker 0 Comments
As seen in the HEARTbeat and the Village Voice
Fishermen can be some of the most superstitious sportsmen on the planet. Now, before I get chastised for not mentioning the ladies, they are fantastic anglers in their own right. But I haven’t seen a lot of them kiss the lures before the cast, or kissing the fish before it is released. To everyday people, the women are the more sane of the two genders while the men can be downright crazy!
There are some conversations that happen at the boat ramp of the lakes that have a succinct language all their own. Here are just a few: “Catchin’ any? Nope.” “Whatcha color? Chartreuse.” “Deep or shallow? Midway.” And my favorite, which of course has a little theatrics added: “Where ya catchin’ them?” to which the angler responds by grabbing his lower lip and say, “Right here!” ‘Honey holes’ on the lake as they are sometimes called are some of the best kept secrets in the nation, even better than presidential documents (sorry, I had to put a toe in that water!) Yes, there are all kinds of strange and wonderful conversations that take place between fishermen (and if the ladies wish, them too!).
Two of the first men Jesus approached were Andrew and Simon – fishermen. James and John, the sons of Zebedee were their fishing partners with them along with their dad. They had come in from a long night of fishing with no success. Jesus told them to push out in their boats just into the deep and cast out their nets. Here was a none fisherman telling professional fishermen how to fish. We can imagine their thoughts. But with some encouragement, they pushed out and caught so many fish in their combined nets their boats almost sank. Simon now believed the words of his brother that Jesus was the one they had been waiting for, the Messiah. Jesus said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”
Jesus told the two women on the path as they rushed away from the empty tomb on resurrection morning, “Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee. There they will see me.” It was after the story of the empty tomb was told to them, but Simon Peter had wondered how it could happen. The eleven went to Galilee. Undoubtedly, they didn’t know what to do, so Simon Peter (probably a little ADHD by today’s standards) said, “I’m going fishing. Who’s with me?” They got into the boats and as was the custom, went out for a night of fishing. Having caught none, they were frustrated. Then this man on the shore, not even in a boat, called out, “Catchin’ any?”
Then came the one-word boat ramp answer, “No!” He told them to cast on the other side of the boat. Their boats were once again filled with fish and their eyes were opened. “It is the Lord,” John said.
The disciples were still fishing, but they had gone back to what they knew – fishing for fish. Jesus reoriented them that morning as they ate fresh fish for breakfast to continue to be fishers of men.
We need a little re-orienting in our Christian lives from time to time. Ask the Lord to reorient your Christian walk to make sure your eyes are set on the task He would has you on! Pray that He asks you, “Catchin’ Any?”