As a fisherman on Long Island. I became familiar with this saying along time ago. Give man a fish and you feed him for a day. But teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. I am also rather fond of the following. Give a man a fish and you have one less fish. Both of these are truisms in there own rite. Now I am not bragging. But if it just for the sake of catching any fish. I could accomplish that any day of the week in season. In other words we would not go hungry. But to learn how to fish takes some time and perseverance on the part of the student. And to target specific species of fish…depending on conditions and times of the year. Can be quite another scenario indeed. On a somewhat regular basis I bring people out with me to fish. Most are fairly new to the craft. And in spite of the fact that they don’t know jack about how to catch fish. Most are not good students.They are unteachable. Even though they want to go fishing. They are prideful and sarcastic. Its almost as though they truly do not want to succeed. Or that they don’t think they can. They for the most part are also unwilling to admit that I may actually have something to offer that they can use. And that by means of many years of experience on the waterfront.
Fishing successfully on a regular basis requires a specific skillset. And generally makes use of a variety of equipment designed for unique situations that present themselves to the fisherman. Matthew chapter 4 verses 18 and 19. And Jesus as he was walking by the Sea of Galilee. Saw two bothers named Peter and Andrew casting a net into the sea. For they were fishermen. And he said to them. Follow me and I will make you fishers of men. And they immediately left their nets where they were and followed him. Lesson number one. When the Master calls. You stop what you are doing and listen. We will get back to this momentarily. About a year ago I was invited to go trap shooting. I knew little to nothing about the game. And after spending just a few sessions with the fellows who invited me. I realized rather quickly that they knew less than nothing. Nevertheless I was hooked. Pun intended. I knew immediately that there was much more to this than met the eye.And I was by the grace of God. About to make an acquaintance. Whose name is Terry Jordan living in Canada. He is an international trap champion. And his trophy room looks like a store showroom. He is a master at his craft. And with good reason.
Having invested the better part of a year and a half practicing and listening to Terry. I am now approaching a point where I am actually one of the better shooters at the range I go to. And not only am I shooting well. But I am now understanding the how and the why of the game. All of this time I have been trying to share Terrys knowledge with these other guys. And do you know what? They argue and resist the teachings. Persisting in there old habits which do not produce good results. And consequently they still are bad shooters. My point is this. As with myself being more than willing to both take and teach people how to fish. I also recognize that all are not teachable. Nor are they willing to do what is needed to better themselves. Now Peter and Andrew were both fishermen. They had a boat and nets. Which indicated that they had a commitment to fishing. The guys I shoot with all have guns. Whether or not they were any good at it is a story for another day. The fact is that Peter and Andrew were committed to the daily grind. And Jesus saw that. In my heart I like to think that Jesus had been watching these guys. But that is not biblical.What is biblical is that they dropped everything to follow him. And in the same way God is calling you as well my friend.
Jesus said to them that he would make them into fishers of men. Indicating that as of their encounter with him. That they weren’t quite men fishers yet. There is both a time to speak. And a time when one must listen. When Terry talks to me I am all ears. And I have learned over time that he is a man of few words. He also is a man of repetition. Driving home certain points about trap over and over and over again. Signifying the importance of crucial and critical points of professional shooting. Starting from the feet up to the brain. The type of gun used. And all of the how and why in between. Not one iota of who you are. What you think. And what you shoot. Does not come under the masters gaze. And now I find myself preaching and teaching Terrys methodology to others. And as is always the case. Many tune me out. And a few are willing to listen.
Jesus selects men and women today in the same fashion as Peter and Andrew. He plucks you out of the world with the intention of making you a new creature in him. You come to him as a teachable novice. He starts to instruct you about his Father and the kingdom of heaven. He reveals to you the trickery and deceit of the devil. He starts to unveil to you exactly what is at the heart of mans sinful existence. And how it is that we are to win their souls for the kingdom of heaven. I am both a protégée of Jesus and of Terry. And while I continue to receive instruction. I am also instructing others. I am a disciple. And when one becomes a disciple…he or she is learning a discipline that is being taught to them via someone else. The lessons being learned are not there own. Life is about sharing and being helpful. It is also about realizing when people are not grateful or receptive to what it is you are offering. The fact is that most people will not be receptive to Christ teachings. They do not want to enter into the Christian discipline. Whether its taught by you or the Lord himself. This is why Jesus told his disciples that most would not believe even if one should rise from the dead. He was speaking of himself of course.And you need to settle down and understand that. This is not personal. Unless of course you make it that way. Be willing to continue learning as you continue to teach. And in the end you will hear what I will hear….Well done my good and faithful servant.Inherit the kingdom of my Father….To be continued