Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Gone Fishing

We’ve gotten good at obsessing over things we can’t control. There are entire movements, with rabidly zealous followers, whose entire premise and reason for being can be likened to a man with a thimble setting out to empty the ocean. Every day some new existential crisis seems to rear its apocalyptic head, and it keeps us on edge, distracted, and hyperventilating.

Perhaps we’re just unwilling to acknowledge our impotence or realize how irrelevant our attempts at saving humanity one plastic straw at a time are, but a large swath of people is tilting at windmills, desperately trying to do the impossible, getting angry, frustrated, and disillusioned in the process.

Looking at the chaos the world finds itself in, I can’t help but conclude that this is a good, can’t miss, once in a lifetime opportunity to go fishing. You read that, right! Grab your pole, grab your bait, and go fishing.

Maybe it’s because we don’t have time to think anymore, never mind reason things out, but we are not here simply to react to news headlines. We are not here to beat ourselves bloody trying to do what we know we can’t so that we can say we tried. You may not be able to change the climate or divert an asteroid, or a hundred other things that have the potential to be existentially problematic, but you can go fishing.

A good fisherman goes where the fish are. That’s rule number one. I’ve never heard of anyone sitting in their apartment with a frying pan waiting for fish to jump in. Fish will not come to you; you must go to it.

A good fisherman also understands fish. No, he does not become a fish to catch fish, but he understands them. Some may argue that this is a nuanced distinction, but it is not.

You don’t become a drunkard to reach drunkards, or a liar to reach liars. You can, however, understand them, and by understanding them, just as a good fisherman understands fish, you have a much better chance at a successful outing.

The great thing about fishing is that anyone can do it. You don’t have to own a boat or buy a fishing trawler replete with nets and cranes. All you need is your pole, some bait, and a bit of persistence and patience.

If hitting someone over the head with the Bible doesn’t seem to be having the desired effect, try buying them a sandwich or a cup of coffee, and initiate a conversation that way. If you are summarily rejected today, come back tomorrow, then the day after, as long as you know that you are going where the fish are, don’t give up trying.

The undeniable reality that more people than ever are empty, lost, hopeless, disillusioned, aching, hurting, broken, seeking, and searching, means that the opportunity for you to share the love of Christ is likewise increasing.

This is no longer trout fishing in a river in Montana. This is fishing in a hatchery, where you can’t see the bottom of the pond for all the fish swimming in it. If you want to be a fisher of men, minimal skill is required. All you need is the willingness to get out of your comfort zone, go where the fish are, and cast a line into the water. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you will feel a tug on your line. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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