"We are all worms, but I do believe that I am a glow worm." - Winston Churchill
I may be a worm, but I am certainly not the kind of worm that attracts fish. A few weeks ago, my dad, grandfather, and I went on a fishing trip in east Michigan. Actually, it was more of an "ing" trip, because there weren't very many fish involved. Nevertheless, we had an enjoyable time. The weather was great, as were the Oreos.
It's the sad reality that our annual fishing trips usually turn out to be "ing" trips, but definitely not for lack of trying. I have officially decided that, when we're out on the boat, the fish order pizza and soda, and then sit around on the lake floor laughing at us like a comedy show. "And now it's time for 'Name That Lure!'" I can imagine a five pound Largemouth drawling out in a mocking, sing-song voice as we toss out all the lures in our tackle boxes. "$4:99 from Wal Mart!" would shout a thirty inch pike as a shiny diver flies past it's nose. "Cheap one from Cabelas!" would cry a walleye, rolling it's eyes at the tastiest looking spoon on the lake.
Nonetheless, there is something special about being out on the water even when the fish aren't biting. It's the simple lapping of the water against the boat, and the reflected line where the sky meets the treetops on the other side of the lake. It's the call of the loon and the "gzzzz" of a casting line.
These are also the things that can make a body go crazy, and write fishing stories about shotguns and dynamite.
As Yeshua, Jesus, our messiah said in Matthew 4:19 to his first disciples-to-be, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Fishing for men is no different in philosophy than fishing for fish. There may be "dry" spells when the lake or community isn't as full of curious fish. We have to remember in life that, even when the "fish" aren't biting, as long as we're casting our lines and truly living a disciple's life -- one of imitation of our master, we need only be patient. Out of a hundred disinterested fish, only one may be interested in what you have to offer. But the truth of life is that every "fish" has a God sized hole in their souls. Deep down, they are always searching for the bait to fill that hole, even if their minds are telling them that they have it all together. There is an insatiable hunger for truth that can errantly get filled with sweet-coated lies like evolutionary theory and other rationalized explanations of supernatural events.
For the fisherman, waiting for the one fish who will bite can drive you insane. You begin to have fantasies about dynamite, firearms, or, in life, a sound smack across the head with a bible or a soapbox sermon in the middle of Times Square. But many times, it are these aggressive forms of discipleship that can turn people even farther away from the truth and safety that God provides. True entry into discipleship depends on the curiosity of the fish, not the zealousness of the fisherman. Making disciples is a process of patient waiting. Nibbles will come.