Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)
TITLE: One Night On The Sea
By Doug Laird
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As the weary man is putting all his equipment away, a stranger comes along and asks the man to let him use some of the equipment for a few minutes while he performs the daily routine of preventative maintenance on the remaining gear used the previous night.
The man is somewhat reluctant at first, but seeing no harm in it, he agrees.
The man was preoccupied, tending to the equipment that needed attention, but he overhears enough of the stranger’s words he spoke to a gathering crowd to conclude that he must be some type of political activist going about seeking a following.
The political climate was intense. An overwhelming military force occupied the man’s nation and several revolutionaries had come and gone with the same fatal results. This stranger’s approach seemed to be different. He was not advocating a violent revolt, but did speak of establishing a new kingdom.
When the stranger’s public address was over, he returned the equipment.
The stranger offered nothing in return other than some unsolicited advice concerning the man’s failed business adventure of the previous night out on the water. Initially the man’s already-wounded pride was further offended like salt being poured into an open wound. Here is this stranger, with no experience in his field of expertise, giving him advice. Is this the thanks he gets for letting his equipment be borrowed?
Never the less, the businessman in him was awakened and he couldn’t resist the chance to turn the night’s losses into a profit. At that moment, just to break even after expenses would be an accomplishment in itself.
After following the stranger’s advice to return to the same area and try the same thing that failed so miserably earlier, the man is shocked to find that he’s hit the jackpot, producing the means for the most profit that he ever made in a single day. In fact, the production was so great that it will be talked about for many years to come by the local businessmen and many more as the news of the “jackpot” spread.
He calls his fellow tradesmen over to help him deal with all the production that the day has suddenly brought. The man knew what potential the area had for turning a profit and perceived that a power greater than he or that he can explain has caused this to be.
Then the stranger drops a bombshell by asking that the man leave it all behind and come with him. The stranger has other work for him to do. The stranger informs the man that he will be working for him to bring others into the organization. Whatever it is that the stranger had in mind, it is appeared that if the man accepted the stranger’s invitation, this might be the last day he would remain in his present trade, even with the record-breaking success that the stranger brought to him.
If this sounds like a fish story to you, it is. It is based on the Biblical accounts of the calling of God on the life of Peter.
Peter had spent a night out on the waters as a commercial fisherman. He returned to shore with nothing to show for his efforts.
Our Lord used his boat to address a gathering crowd. When He finished, he sent a somewhat reluctant Peter out again. Peter obeyed, even though he questioned the outcome. It was the beginning of a personal relationship with the Lord who had been a stranger to him previously. The result was a material blessing that was soon left behind in order to serve the Lord.
Perhaps this was the first time that a “Gone Fishing” sign was found attached to Peter’s fishing vessel. But how could it be, others would ask, that a man would go fishing and yet have left his boat behind? Peter left his life as a commercial fisherman to be a fisher of men.
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