I like fishing.
I like fishing in the coolness of early morning when the surface of the lake is completely still and a wraith of fog drifts just above the water. I like fishing in the hot afternoon sun when the fish are hiding under the submerged logs under the dark shadows of the overhanging trees on the shoreline. I like fishing in deep, crystal clear and achingly cold water of Saddlebag Lake where I grew up. I like fishing in mountain streams where you need to fool the trout with tiny fishing flies delivered just so delicately to the head of the pool in which they are lurking.
Now I am a fisherman for souls here in Canton! And I like it!
Just like with any fishing - there are long periods of casting and retrieving - and short bursts of surprising action. You get more strikes than bites. Some follow awhile then disappoint you by turning away after ogling you with their fishy eye. Others take the bait and must be carefully handled to draw them into the safety of the boat.
Things go wrong when you are fishing - but they don't keep you from fishing. Sometimes your line gets tangled or caught in a tree or on an underwater snag. You work it out (hopefully without falling in the lake) and keep fishing. You get sunburned on the back of your neck. You keep fishing. The wind blows your boat around and away from the fishing hole you wanted. You row back and keep fishing. You lose another $10 lure in a tree. You grit your teeth and keep on fishing.
Generally - if you stay with it long enough - you will catch a fish. I expect we will see some souls "caught" here in Canton. How many? Who knows? Is the number of fish the point? Isn't the point to be fishermen? If I just wanted a bunch of fish I could go to Sam's Club. Here the object is not to generate a huge crowd, but to introduce individuals to life through Jesus Christ.
I love fishing because I love Jesus Christ. He is so worthy of praise that there is nothing more pleasant than to talk to people about Jesus.
He is the "I Am." He is the Eternal Word. He is the Creator. He is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world. He is the source of Living Water. He is the door of the sheep. He is the Good Shepherd. He is the Bread of Life. He is the Light of the World. He is the Resurrection and the Life. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the True Vine. He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. He is the One Who is and was and is to come, The Almighty. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is the Eternal Son of God Who became flesh, lived among men, was crucified, was raised from the dead on the third day, ascended to heaven and is coming again in glory - Our Lord and Savior!
So - here I am. Fishing. Dreaming of fishing. Planning more fishing. Looking at fishing equipment. All for the glory of God in Jesus Christ!