Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)
TITLE: Fishing for WHAT?
By Ruth Neilson
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Peter smiled as he hung the sign that simply read: “gone fishin’” and waved at his brother Andy.
“We’re closed for the day, bro, the rest of the gang is meeting us out at the spot.”
“Alright, lets go all ready. I got the tackle, the poles, and the bait; just waitin’ on your sorry behind.”
Peter let out a loud laugh and ran to the jeep and without another thought, he climbed in. With a short ten-minute drive, the brothers finally arrived and greeted by the rest of their friends with teasing shouts.
“You’re late.” One voice shouted.
“Hey, blame my brother—he had to put up his fishin’ sign,” Andy shouted over the dull roar.
“Hey, lets stop arguing and get fishing.”
The sun was starting to peek over the horizon and the men were unusually quiet. What was meant to be a relaxing and mind easing trip was the opposite. Unspoken thoughts and questions hung in the air like a thick fog no one could break. Peter didn’t know what his friends and brother were thinking but he sighed heavily and reeled in his line again. Am I really forgiven?
“C’mon Pete, lets just call it a day and go back to that shop,” Andy called over the two-way radio, jolting Peter out of his thoughts.
“Are you that tired of fishin’ already, Andy?” Thomas answered, beating Peter to the radio. Thomas offered a wink to the other men in the boat, causing quiet chuckles.
“Nah, just ready to try a different spot.” The radio crackled to life again and Peter sighed as he ran nimble fingers through his wavy hair.
“Let’s try this spot for fifteen more minutes and then we can move on.”
“Rodger that, bro...and I’m holding you to your promise.”
Peter flashed his brother a thumbs up and reeled in his line again. It was as if the fish were stealing the bait right off the hooks, and it was frustrating him to no end.
“Why don’t y’all cast your lines on the other side?” a voice called from shore.
Peter covered his eyes with his hand in an attempt to see through the early morning glare. Who was on shore? Who would be in their right mind to be up with the sun unless they were fishermen?
“Say that again?” Peter called, now cupping his hands around his mouth and squinting.
“Why don’t y’all cast your lines on the other side?” The voice called again.
Peter glanced over at the other boat and Andy shrugged in response. As if to say, “What’s wrong with trying?”
Eleven sets of line were reeled in, eleven hooks were baited, and eleven poles were cast once again. Immediately, the men were in action as the fishing poles threatened to fly out of the boat. The solemn mood was broken by a palpable excitement. Once Peter wrestled his fish into the boat, he carefully moved to the end and stared towards the shoreline.
The stranger was still there and now there was a hint of wood smoke lingering in the air. Something was familiar about the way the stranger stood and Peter knew what it was. Without waiting for the others to finish pulling in their catch, he dove into the water. The icy water stunned him, but after the initial shock, Peter ignored his peers and began to swim towards shore.
Peter finally arrived on shore, trembling and gasping for breath, Jesus was there waiting for him. Without saying a word, Jesus draped a warm towel over Peter’s shoulders and gestured towards a log.
“Coffee?” Jesus asked, his eyes twinkling impishly.
Jesus grinned as he pressed a hot cup into Peter’s hands. “I saw your sign and had to wonder what you were fishing for.” He paused and became serious. “Peter, for now on, don’t go fishing for fish—go fishing for men.”
Based loosely on John 21
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