Just Keep Casting
By: Mary Elder-Criss
The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of that which is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope. AUTHOR: Anonymous
“Daddy! Daddy! I’ve got one on! Come quick!” My eight-year-old daughter’s excited voice penetrated the lake’s afternoon stillness.
As he quickly hurried to her side, my husband shouted encouragement. “That’s it, honey! Reel him in! Don’t let him get off!”
“I’m not, Daddy!” Erin quickly and professionally reeled the fish in, just as her father had taught her. “I think it’s a big one, Dad!” she exclaimed gleefully.
“Alright honey! Let’s get him in and see what you’ve got!” Jerry, the consummate fisherman, was as excited as if he himself had set the hook.
As the fish cleared the water, we were to see that her “big one” was actually just a small bluegill, most likely weighing less than six ounces. Sneaking a quick look at her pixyish face, I caught the fleeting look of disappointment pass over it as she viewed the size of her catch.
“Doggone it. It’s just an old stinkin’ bluegill,” she said dejectedly. “That’s all I ever catch. I wanted to catch something big for a change, Daddy, like you do.”
“Hey, it’s okay, Erin. You still did a really nice job of setting the hook and reeling him in, even if he is on the smallish side. The important thing is you didn’t let him get away. You brought him in to shore. One day you’ll cast out there and reel in a big one. The important thing is not to give up. Just keep casting.”
Watching her little face brighten with pride, I silently thanked God for giving me such a wonderful husband. He was a father that knew how to encourage his children, and had effectively turned a disappointment into a victory for her. As they released her catch, two dark heads bent close together over the water, I thought upon his words.
“Just keep casting.” How many times have I, like Erin, been disappointed over the size of my “catch?” As a freelance writer, I have cast my “rod” into many waters, and have often been rewarded with not even a “nibble.” Other times, I may have reeled in a small catch, when I have really hungered to bring in the “big one.”
When we do not see a sizable return on the ministry that we have felt God calling us to, we often become discouraged and long to just pack up our tackle and go home. In Luke Chapter 5, we see an account of Simon Peter returning to shore empty handed after a full night of fishing. He had already pulled in his nets, and cleaned them, and was eager to get home to rest. Before he could, along came Jesus to ask a favor of him by borrowing his boat to talk to the people. When Jesus was through speaking, He turned to Simon, and told him to launch out into the deep, and let his nets down for a catch.
Although Simon told Christ that he had fished all night, and had caught nothing, he still obeyed the Lord’s directive. What happened next? They caught such a great number of fish that their nets were in danger of breaking.
To paraphrase my husband’s words, “The important thing is you didn’t let him get away…you reeled him into shore.” We are called to be fishers of men, and even though we might not see a huge return in the physical sense of landing the “big one,” we may be touching souls that we never know about by obeying God’s directive for our lives.
“Just keep casting, even when you’re weary.” You never know what might be lurking just beneath the deep. It is indeed, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.
Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9