The following is contributed by a B4T worker in SE Asia
Today I went over to the university to submit forms for the children’s visas. Then I had a leisurely walk around campus, thinking and praying, and looking at the wildlife! I stood and watched a Little Heron for about half an hour fishing in a monsoon drain. I learnt quite a few lessons about fishing from watching him!
- No one ever catches a fish by accident! That heron wasn’t just having stroll by the river. He was there for a purpose. In fact everything about him – his beak, his coloration, his way of walking, were all geared towards catching fish. If we are really to be fishers of men, we must be totally focused on that goal. It must be our controlling aim, influencing every aspect of our lives, a holy obsession, not merely a by-product of the way we live.
- Patience and perseverance are vital. The heron would stand and watch in one place for ages, and then slowly, slowly stretch forward, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. If he found one place wasn’t fruitful, he moved to another and started again. We must be willing to play the waiting game. We must be prepared for the long haul. We must be sensitive to know when to try in a new place – when to stay and when to move on.
- Distractions reduce effectiveness. If he was disturbed by me, or by a water monitor lizard swimming up the creek, he was more concerned with what we were doing than catching fish. The heron ignored us. He focused on his main task – to catch fish. We must avoid being distracted if we are to be effective. There must be only one thing uppermost in our thinking if we are to be fishers of men.
- We must be prepared to get our feet wet. The heron had to get really close to the fish to have any chance of catching them. Standing on the bank would have undoubtedly been more comfortable, but it would also have been 100% less effective! We can read books on how to fish, where to fish and what the fish like to do, but ultimately, our effectiveness as fishermen will depend on how much time we spend in the water, up close, actually…fishing.
Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men – Jesus