A Plea to Fish

Let me share a story I adapted from “People Sharing Jesus” by Darrell W. Robinson:

Once there was a group of fishermen living near a lake teeming with fish. And the fish were hungry.

Week after week, the group met to talk about their call to fish, its abundance, and how they might go about fishing. They carefully defined what fishing means and declared that it will always be their primary task. They searched for new and better methods of fishing. They sponsored special meetings called ‘The Month for Fishermen to Fish.’ They built large, beautiful buildings called ‘Fishing Headquarters.’ They loved slogans such as ‘Fishing is the task of every fisherman.’

However, one thing they didn’t do: They didn’t fish.

They also organized a board that sent out fishermen to other places where there were many fish. They hired staffs and appointed committees that held many more meetings. They sponsored costly nationwide and world-wide conferences to debate, promote and hear about all the ways of fishing such as new fishing equipments or baits.

But the staff and committee members did not fish.

They built large, elaborate, and expensive training centers where the original, primary purpose was to teach fishermen how to fish. Over the years these centers offered courses on the needs of fish, the nature of fish, where to find fish, and how to approach and feed fish. Those who taught had doctorates in fishing.

But the teachers did not fish. They only taught fishing.

Now it’s true that many of the fishermen sacrificed and put up with all kinds of difficulties. Some lived near the water and bore the smell of dead fish every day. They received the ridicule of some who made fun of their fishermen’s clubs. Imagine how hurt some were when one day a person suggested that those who don’t catch fish were really not fishermen, no matter how much they claimed to be.

Is a person a fisherman if, year after year, he never catches a fish? Is one following if he isn’t fishing?

Brethren, God called us to be fishers of men. Are we really fishing?


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