This past weekend was one I won’t soon forget. I’ve filed it away in that special place; you know, the “file” where memories are made and kept?
My grandson, Quin, was in town for Thanksgiving. He’s a typical 14-year-old; has his head in his iPhone, not much of a conversationalist but knows a lot about everything (except girls), and is at that awkward . . . well, let’s just say, “goofy” stage. There’s nothing wrong with goofy. In fact, I’ve been awkward and goofy most of my life.
This past summer, Quin and I found our connection point: fly-fishing! This past weekend as Jo, my daughter, and grand-daughter were hitting up the Black Friday sales, “Mr. Q” and I grabbed our fly rods, slipped out the side door, and headed to Roaring River. It was an incredible day! The trout were biting & the day was sunny and warm.
Quin really enjoys trout fishing, but, there was just one little habit I noticed as he cast his new fly rod. Quin threw the line so much that the “fly” was in the air more than it was in the water. I watched him for a while, pondered whether or not I should say anything, and decided to offer him a quick pointer. “Quin, you’re great at casting. I love your style. But, remember this little fact, NO fish are ever caught out of the water.” He gave me that goofy 14-year-old “Huh?” look. “Quin, your rate of catching fish will actually double when you leave your line in the water.”
And, sure enough. Quin caught sixteen trout on Saturday.
On the drive home, I pondered our day at Roaring River and thought about my own casting technique. It dawned on me; no matter how good, or bad, the technique, the most meaningful measurement is “Am I catching fish?” The more I thought about it I realized there were ministry implications as well. In fact, Matthew 4 points to three simple factors as Jesus went fishing for men:
- Location - He went where they were
- Observation - He saw them
- Invitation - He caught them & invited them
What did I learn last Saturday? The blessing is not in found in my personal style or technique, or even how hip or cool we are as a church! The real blessing is found when I’m faithfully “casting the Gospel” in waters to those who are ready and waiting.