Gone Fishing!

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

One person who receives our blog, Joanne Gauntt from Albany, Georgia, commented that I have written a couple of times recently about fishing. She included an article that she had found years ago and had kept it in an old file. She shared the following with me;

“Now it came to pass that a group existed who called themselves fishermen. And lo, there were many fish in the waters all around, and the fish were hungry.

Week after week, month after month, year after year those who called themselves fishermen met and talked about their call to go fishing. They searched for new and better methods of fishing and for new and better definitions of fishing. They sponsored nationwide and worldwide congresses to discuss fishing and to promote fishing and hear about all the ways of fishing. They built large, beautiful buildings called ‘Fishing Headquarters.’ One thing they didn’t do, however – they didn’t fish.

All the fishermen agreed that what was needed was a board which could challenge fishermen to be faithful in fishing. The board was formed by those who had the great vision and courage to speak about fishing, to define fishing, and to promote the idea of fishing in far-away streams and lakes where many fish of different colors lived.

Large, elaborate, and expensive training centers were built whose purpose was to teach fishermen how to fish. Those who taught had doctorates in fishology, but the teachers did not fish. They only taught fishing.

Some spent much money on study and travel to learn the history of fishing and went to faraway places where the founding fathers did great fishing in the centuries past. They lauded the faithful fishermen of years before who handed down the idea of fishing. Many who felt the call to be fishermen responded. They were commissioned and sent to fish, ant they went off to foreign lands to teach fishing.

Now it’s true that many 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 those who made fun of their fishermen’s clubs. They anguished over those who were not committed enough to attend weekly meetings to talk about fishing. After all, were they not following the Master who said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men”?

Imagine how hurt some were when one day someone suggested that those who didn’t catch fish were really not fishermen. Yet it did sound correct. Is a person a fisherman if year after year he/she never catches a fish?”

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone of us hung out a sign over our lives – Gone Fishing! Jesus said very clearly, “Follow Me and I will make you fish for people.” (Mark 1:17 NRSV)

Gone Fishing!

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