"And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers, And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." (Matthew 4: 18-19 KJV)
The fact that Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen, was a big deal to the Bass family. We come from a long line of folks who greatly enjoy the beauty and wonders of the wild outdoors. And we love to fish. There is even something fishy about our family name. We inherited an appreciation for God's glory, revealed through His awesome creations.
My first memory of going fishing was in a little rowboat with my grandfather fishing for...bass. I didn't mind the slimy, wiggly earthworms we used as bait; in fact I was rather fascinated by them. Grandpa would tell teaching tales of how worms help enrich the soil for his garden. And when it was time to go fishing, he showed me how to shock the big wigglies right out of the wet ground with an electric probe. It was a dangerous process that carries a risk of being electrocuted. But that only added to the exciting mystique of the wild outdoors. I quickly became enamored with all types of adventures, found in what our Creator has made as an enjoyable habitation for all life.
Over Grandpa's work bench, hung a sign that I memorized by staring at it. I liked the little rhyme.
I pray that I may live to fish until my dying day
And when it comes to my last cast
I then most humbly pray
When in the Lords great landing net and peacefully asleep
That in His mercy I be judged
Big enough to keep
At our family reunions we have a tradition of telling fish tales. It was a competition of who had experienced the most incredible adventures while fishing. My Mother took first place with her account of landing the biggest Bass in the history of fishing by marrying my Dad. Our times of getting away from the hectic routines of life to appreciate the gifts God has given us just by creating the earth, birthed in me a grateful heart, resulting in peace and contentment.
Jesus understood and taught the importance of coming aside for a time of refreshing and rest. And also a time of praising God for His omniscient wisdom in forming a habitat that reveals so much about our God. Many scriptures speak to our hearts about the principle of acknowledging our Heavenly Father and our Lord for the good earth.
"...And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place..." (Luke 9:11 KJV)
Getting away from the hubbub of everyday life into untamed regions, many times garners us the lucidity of what is most important in our lives. I don't think it is the location so much as the isolation from others that enables us to hear that still small voice of God behind us saying; This is the way, walk ye in it.
"And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone." (Matthew 14:23)
When someone say's, "I'm going fishing," there can be a number of reasons. Maybe solitary contemplation and prayer is needed to opt for the right course of action. Perhaps they would like to have some fish for dinner. It could be a time of bonding and strengthening relationships between family members or friends. Then it could be that a soul is troubled, and seeking the peace that only prayer and alone time with the Orchestrator of this awesome cosmos can bring. It is a bit ironic; being out in the wild has a way of taming the wild and raging turmoil in our innermost being, drawing peace from the greatest fisher of men-- Jesus.
After Jesus had risen from the dead and appeared to the disciples. Peter must have had much to contemplate.
"Simon Peter saith unto them,I go a fishing..." (John 21:3a KJV)
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