Summary: Fishing lessons from real life.
Every year about February or March, it starts. Cody starts asking me, “When are you gonna
get your license so we can go fishing?” He LOVES to fish. He’d like to go several times a week
if we could. Now, he hasn’t been nagging me, but when he asked me again a couple of weeks
ago, I decided it was about time to get my “license to throw back anything I might catch.” What
you might correctly call a “fishing license”. So we made a trip uptown to LaPorte Sporting
Goods and bought the legal documents allowing me to “drown worms and/or feed the fish”.
This was around the middle of the day and, of course, Cody wants to go “right now”.
Considering myself to be somewhat of an “expert”, you know, having read all the books and
having fished for years, I tell him we’ll go first thing in the morning because fishing is better in
the mornings or evenings. Of course he wanted an explanation. So I told him that fish eat best at
those times and therefore we’ll have the best chance of catching them then.
So we get down to the Mill Pond right after breakfast and see about 6 or 8 other people that
have already “staked out” their prime fishing spots. Fortunately no one has taken our spots. We
get our poles out, put on our bobbers, sinkers, and bait and commence to fishin’ over by the big
drain. We’re casting and waiting. Ok, I’m casting and waiting. Cody generally casts 10-15 times
to my one. And he always wants to see who casts the farthest. So he’s casting and casting. He
starts out pretty good. He’ll leave the bait sit for 30 sec. to a min. before reeling it in to cast
again. And he doesn’t just reel it in. You know, slow, so any fish swimming by can see it and
maybe be enticed into grabbing on. No, I picture the fish being spectators at the Indy 500
hundred and the bait being a car going around the track at 200 M.P.H. But he’s enjoying himself.
He is catching things, too. Moss, sticks, etc. But he’s having fun fishing with dad.
This gets old, so we move across the driveway to the spillway. Now it gets exciting. There are
trees, rocks, and power or phone lines running overhead somewhat near to where we are casting.
So we’re casting and getting a few bites. By now, Cody’s up to 15-20 casts to my one. And he is
improving, he only cast one over the power/phone lines. Being experienced at these sort of
things, I deftly get his line off without getting it snagged. Of course there are still the trees and
rocks. If you want, I can show you Cody’s 2 bobbers and one of mine have been enshrined in the
“Mill Pond Bobber Hall of Fame”, along with a multitude of others.
I know we’d get more bites if we put on real worms, but we’d also spend more time
replacing the worms that got zinged off in casting or taken off by a fish. So we use artificial bait.
We also had to untangle the lines a few times. By now, we’re about an hour into our fishing.
Cody has taking to throwing rocks (not stones or pebbles) at his bobber to see how close he can
come to it. That won’t scare the fish will it? But he’s having a blast. Along about this time, my
mind starts formulating this sermon you’re hearing today.
All of these things that are happening bring to my mind the “fish story” we read today. We
are called to be “fishers of men”. This whole fishing trip with Cody has similarities to our lives
as Christians and how we share the “Good News” with others around us. There are lessons we
need to understand.
Lesson 1:The Equipment
To fish, you have to have the right equipment. Sometimes a stick and string will work,
sometimes you need a bigger pole with heavier line, sometimes you need waders or a boat to get
out into the waters where the fish are. As Christians, our equipment is simpler: our commitment
to Jesus and the Word of God. But we must learn to use our equipment effectively. We must
practice our “fishing” techniques to catch fish. We must go fishing. Sometimes our fishing lines
There was a barber who felt it his duty to witness to his customers, but he wasn’t always careful
and sometimes his lines got “tangled”. One day he lathered a man for a shave, picked up the
razor, and asked, “Sir, are you prepared to meet your God?” The poor guy flew out that door
with the lather still on his face.