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pirate2All in good fun here, but I have spent a great deal of time fishing, long lining halibut, black cod, even dog-fish.  Crab, oysters, abalone. I’ve caught a lot of salmon, trout, even tuna and mahi mahi. It’s a bit funny, I don’t even really like fishing. There are people who live to fish, people who dream of fishing and seldom get to go, yet here I am not even really liking to fish, having spent a great deal of time doing it. Go figure.

In Matthew 4:19 Jesus says to the disciples, “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” He did, I don’t dispute that, but there are some more details we need to know.

Don’t dynamite the lake. Blowing things up might be kind of fun, but you tend to just sow destruction and leave all the fish belly up and floating on the surface.

Don’t chum the water. That’s really lazy. You’re just throwing bait overboard hoping to trigger a feeding frenzy which will draw a mindless crowd driven by nothing more than instinct and lizard brains.

Don’t catch and release. That’s just impolite. “Here little fish, let me rip that hook out of your gills and throw you defenseless, back in the ocean. Good luck, hope you survive.”

Don’t gut fish on the kitchen counter. You’re supposed to be fishing, not launching revenge on all of fishdom in as graphic and unsanitary a manner as possible.

Don’t drag net. Again, just complete destruction. You’re just scooping up anything and everything, hoping there’s some fish hiding among all the other creatures you’ve now slaughtered.

Fishing in the real world is pretty much about being still, resting, and waiting for the fish to come to you. If I were a fish, I would not come to half the people in Christiandom just waiting to blow me up, rip my gills out, or gut me on the kitchen counter.

Harsh? Yes, but quite true.

My favorite fishing once happened in Alaska at the mouth of a  river. I was curious, how do we fish here, what kind of bait do we use, and why are the mosquitos as big as birds? It turns out the way we fish is that we walk down to the river and there before your eyes are so many fish you could walk across the water on their backs. You don’t actually “fish,” you simply reach down, pick one up, and take it home with you.

I’ve never forgotten that river paved with fish. It always reminds me of God’s abundance, His provision so massive and infinite it boggles the mind. I was quite prepared to go forth and conquer the fish that day, to launch war, to do battle. It’s quite anti-climatic, not terribly exciting, but rather funny. How do I catch these fish?

Just reach down and pick one up. That simple.