There Just May Be Another Fisherman

19 Jun

In my last two years of high-school, I decided to start speaking to my friends about God. Some of them were professing Christians, some were catholic, and some just didn’t care about theism, but that didn’t matter. It was pretty cool to see their reactions to my beliefs. I would bring my bible to classes and sometimes my friends would open it, start reading, close it and give it back to me with a grin. They didn’t know what to think, but I made sure that they knew what my faith was all about.

One of my friends in particular, one of my closest friends at the time, became mad every time I talked about God. She was born and raised in a catholic family, but she only went to church for Easter Sunday and Christmas and she didn’t know Jesus as her personal saviour. I remember one afternoon we were both waiting for Math class to start and I mentioned God in our conversation. She was so frustrated that she said, “Do you always have to talk about God?!” She wasn’t happy at all and I think our friendship was affected because of my faith.

I didn’t do much else to introduce the gospel to my friends. All I did was talk about my faith and even though that’s better than not talking about faith at all, I still think sometimes that I could have done a better job at evangelizing.

But God showed me something recently that I wasn’t aware of a couple years ago.

Have you ever watched the movie, A River Runs Through It ? It’s a great film directed by none other than Robert Redford about a reverend in Montana and their two sons who love to go fly fishing. The two sons eventually part ways to pursue their own careers and are reunited later in their lives. It’s a great movie and if you haven’t seen it yet and you love a good motion picture, I suggest you rent it today.

There’s this one scene where Norman, Paul and Rev. Maclean (their father) go fishing in their favorite river, Black Foot. Norman (played by Craig Sheffer) sits with his father (played by Tom Skerritt) and they both watch Paul (Brad Pitt) as he fly fishes. Paul spots a great place to cast his hook and it pays off. A huge fish bites and takes Paul down the river a few hundred meters until Paul finally catches the tired fish. Here’s the clip.

Jesus tells his disciples to that they will be “fishers of men”, and if you’re a Christian, then you are called to be a “fisher of men” as well. To be “fishers of men” means to go and tell the world about the gospel of Christ Jesus and actually fish for people to join the kingdom of heaven. We are like Paul, fishing in a river for men to follow God. Sometimes it takes a whole lot of perseverance and dedication before you finally catch a fish, but sometimes they actually get away.

When I left high-school, almost all of my friends weren’t Christian and that made me sad. I often wished that I could have done more to bring them to God and sometimes I even got mad that God didn’t allow them to be converted through my testimony. I know, it sounds really selfish and foolish of me, but it’s the truth. I didn’t realize that even though so many fish got away from my bait and my hook, there may be another fisherman down the river who just might catch one of my friends. I’m not the only fisherman out there and I have to now trust that God will provide the right fisherman for my friends. If it happens that my friends meet many Christian fishermen down the river and escape each one, then so be it. I did my part to spread the gospel in high-school and even though I wish I could have done a better job, I can’t be mad at myself or God because I have no idea if my friends will meet other fishermen. I may even see that girl who got mad at me while waiting for Math class for talking about God in heaven some day.

You’re not the only fisherman. If you’ve been telling friends  about God and they don’t want to hear it or if you’ve failed in the past to lead people to God, don’t beat yourself up. Continue to talk to people about God even if they hate you for it. God may use you to convert your friends or you may be used to first plant a seed in their hearts and another Christian will lead them to Christ, if it’s God’s will for them to be saved. All you could do is persevere and pray for them. Continue to cast your hook into the water and let God take care of the rest.

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