I am currently on a much needed family vacation in the Outer Banks. The Outer Banks is a beautiful place and has become our favorite place to vacation with our family. It is super laid back, affordable to be on the ocean, and there isn’t a ton of tourists around.
I have always wanted to do shore fishing. I see countless people throwing out their lines while hanging out on the beach. So I decided to pick up a cheap surf fishing rod/reel combo and a fishing license. I awkwardly went into the Fishin’ Hole down the road to pick up some bait and advice on what to do. Obviously I have fished before back home, but it is quite different here in the ocean. I asked the guy what I needed to get started and he made me feel about 2 inches tall. I got some lures and bait and headed down. I threw a line out and didn’t get anything. Pulled it back in and continued this cycle a few times, and still nothing. I adventured down the beach to get some advice from some other guys fishing to learn that I am not doing anything wrong, but the current and rough conditions are making surf fishing difficult.
I went out today for a few hours this afternoon with much calmer conditions and still nothing. I got a few nibbles, but nothing substantial. I envisioned catching fish every 15 minutes and grilling up my catch each day for lunch or dinner. My ambition and expectations couldn’t be any further from reality. I have great respect for some of these guys that are so dedicated to the sport.
In my brief experience with the fishing culture, I see a deep amount of passion, drive, enthusiasm, and detail needed to be a fisherman. I mean some of these guys wake at the crack of dawn, are constantly analyzing their technique, and are willing to make changes to their approach because they are passionate and in love with the sport. As I sit out there all by myself I couldn’t help but think how Jesus called some of his disciples from their careers in the fishing industry.
I was thinking about how these guys left their passion, love, and livelihood as fisherman to follow and become disciples of Jesus. It wasn’t like they left glamorous jobs as investment bankers or partners at a distinguished law firm, but they left something that they loved! They left something they were passionate about and that provided for them and their family. Jesus called them to a field and lifestyle that was more familiar than they realized. The fisherman and disciple have daily hardships and dangers, a passion for the goal and the prize found with faithful work, and skill and wisdom needed to be faithful and effective in the task that is at hand.
It wasn’t like Jesus wanted them to just quit something that they loved, but I believe he used the same skills and passions involved in fishing to allow these men to become disciples that turned the world upside down and birthed the church as we know it today. I am convinced that their trade and skill in the fishing industry is what allowed them to be so effective and disciplined in the roller coaster of life. Sometimes things go exactly as we planned, and other times we are casting our nets or lines out with no fruit of reward. At the end of the day, these faithful men were interested in being a disciple of Jesus, living by faith, and giving all that they had to Him! I pray for that same faith and desire in my life!