“Pull it up. Don’t jerk it but pull up hard and don’t allow any slack in your line. Now reel it in. Don’t let up, just keep reeling.” Those were the instructions I received over and over by anyone who was near me. We were on the Atlantic Ocean three miles beyond Jupiter Island in Florida. Bobby, a friend of Henry Sardina had taken us out on his launch. On the way to the ocean, we went past the homes of the rich and the famous. Tiger Woods had the fanciest place. He had his own four holed golf course, even though one of the world’s most exclusive (and most expensive) golf courses was just a few hundred feet from his property.
During supper the night before, Henry pushed a box of pills towards me. “You have to take one of these now and then take another one tomorrow morning.” I’m not a pill taker so I tried to steer the conversation in a different direction. Henry is not easily steered. “Take one of these, I mean it,” said Henry. “It will make your time on the boat a much better experience. It will keep you from getting sea-sick. And if you’re sea-sick, you’ll ruin the trip for everyone else.” He persuaded me. I popped a pill out of its package and swallowed it.
Henry looked at me quizzically, “What pill did you take?”
“The one you gave me,” I told him.
“What does it say on the package?”
I took off my glasses and read the fine print. “Imodium.”
“Lisa,” Henry hollered, “What’s Imodium doing in the Dramamine box?”
I think she said she did not know, but she was laughing so hard, it was hard to tell.
“You need to take another pill,” Henry said. Which I did. This time I read the tiny print on the package before I popped it out and swallowed it.
The fishing trip was a life time experience. Never had I experienced fish hitting my line so often. Every fish I was able to keep on my line gave a fight, and every fish I actually pulled into the boat—I think I caught four—was a sight to see. Ocean fish are exotic with blazingly bright colors and beautifully grotesque mouths and eyes and shapes. George Lucas’ aliens never looked so alien.
Bobby’s son-in-law Brent caught something that hit hard and then took off, pulling most of his line from his reel. Bobby followed the fish with the boat so his line would not snap. Brent reeled with all his might standing on the top deck of the boat. Henry yelled, “Brent, let Larry take your pole. He needs to experience a real fish on his line.” I didn’t want to take his pole. Brent didn’t want me to take it either. This was his fish. He was hoping for a sail fish, but, from the way the fish was pulling, he suspected a shark. It was a long and good fight, at least a half hour fight. We never found out what it was for suddenly his line snapped.
Henry also caught something big. He pulled his pole back, his muscles rippling—or something was rippling. Then, wham, he almost fell backwards. “Something huge just got my fish,” said Henry. “What I had on my line was just bait for him.”
What a great trip! If fishing was always like this, I could be a fisherman.
I don’t think it just happened that the inner circle of Jesus’ disciples were all fisherman. Jesus told them He was going to make them fishers of men.
Some similarities between spiritual and physical fishermen. They both:
Figure out where the fish are.
Use the appropriate bait.
Don’t let up once they hook a fish.
Love to share their stories.
Jesus said, “When I am lifted up from this earth, I will draw all people to me.” (John 12: 32)
Have we got our lines out? Every real fisherman is out fishing whenever he possibly can.