Pastor Greg once said “you have to love fishing more than you do catching.” That couldn’t have been truer than last night when I rolled with a couple of my Cool Spring Outdoors Ministry team buddies Greg and Brent to do some kayak fishing by the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT). With this being my first time fishing from the kayak in saltwater and having heard stories of catching 100 fish a night and 30-40 inch stripers off the HRBT, let’s just say I was stoked as I packed up my gear to prepare for the trip.
The only trouble was we didn’t catch 100 fish - we didn’t even catch five. We didn’t catch any 40 inch stripers - we didn’t even catch a 4 inch striper. To rub salt in the wound, I saw sea gulls catch more fish then me – but not once did we complain. Brent, Greg and a new-found friend Winston and I love fishing, especially from our kayaks. We love catching fish too, but we love being on the water - watching the sun set as the big bright orange ball kisses off the ocean rim one last time and tossing bait that has more colors than the rainbow - with anticipation that each cast will result in a tight line. We honestly feel that each cast –whether the first or the last – will lead to a fish being caught. Some people call it foolish, but we call it fishing. Where else can you get the rush of anticipation that every attempt will be successful? Without question, we truly believe that every cast has the chance to be the “one”.
Where else can you get that feeling? Everywhere that Christ calls us to minister. As Pastor Greg says, you have to enjoy fishing more than you do catching, and he wasn’t talking about fishing for fish. With each person we meet, we have the opportunity to build a relationship and share the love of Christ – that’s fishing for Christ. Much like we would love for each cast to result in line screaming off the reel with a 40 inch striper on the unseen end, Christians long for each relationship with a non-believer to result in them committing their lives to Christ (that’s catching) - but that just doesn't always happen right away. Just like last night, sometimes we don’t see the direct immediate results we desire - so we are called to remain faithful and patient and keep fishing for Christ.
Galatians 6:9 reads: "And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary." (NASB)
Whether it is kayak fishing for large stripers or fishing for men with Christians like Greg, Brent, Winston and others of the Cool Spring Outdoors Ministry, I still love fishing more than I do catching. - SV