Saturday, June 22, 2013

Fishers of Men

As far back as I can remember; I’ve been fishing. My grandfather would get me up a couple of hours before dawn and we would hit the water in that tan boat that sparkled when the sun hit it just right. The cold morning would slice us to pieces as we cut across the water towards our favorite spot. I remember the largest fish could always be found in the weeds. No telling how many lures I lost going in after them.

I’m a top water guy. There’s nothing I love more than flipping that popper across the water so it mimics a hurt minnow. The sight of that big ole’ bass leaping out of the water captured like a camera in the mind’s eye. The fight that comes after leaves you wishing the day would never end. The story of how it all went down was always bigger than the reality.

I fish with my Grandpa Hamm, but my Grandpa Beck is a fisherman too in his own way. For over 60 years he’s been stepping up to that pulpit at every Church of Christ that would let him. His face lighting up and that deep voice growing louder as he throws his net out in hopes of bringing someone closer to the Lord. I remember being small and seeing that giant hand thrusting out towards the congregation and the feeling that he was looking directly at me the entire time. Even now when the Michael’s or Ben finish their lesson without anyone coming forward, I feel that same tinge of pain that always came after hearing my grandfather pour his heart out with no immediate results. Their nets empty just like a day on the water with nothing to show but a sun burn.

Of course, I grew to learn that the lines that are thrown out every Sunday and Wednesday sometimes take years before they prove to be successful or not. In Matthew 4:19 Jesus tells us “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men”. Every morning as we wake up and get ready to face a new day, let’s all remember to cast out our nets towards the world. That’s the great thing about fishing….you don’t have to be a professional angler to put one in the boat.