It was a cold Friday morning. As a bi-vocational pastor, Friday was my day off. The kids were in school & my wife was at work. I like to do two things on my day off: fish and hunt. Hunting season wasn’t in so I headed to the Suwanee river. I don’t have a boat so I’d be fishing off the bank. I would get to the river by passing through a church members private property and then driving down a trail in the woods. My spot was very secluded and very quiet. Just the way I like it.
My wife had already told me I shouldn’t go fishing. She is a city girl. She believes that one day I will get eaten by some wild animal or killed by an escape convict hiding in the woods. Plus she told me it was too cold and I would get sick. Now don’t misunderstand me. I love my wife. She is a great wife and a great mother. Problem is, she has three kids I have two.
So I’m enjoying my day. But honestly it was windy and pretty cold. I was fishing for catfish. I love catfish. I usually take a couple of poles. So after setting up one of my poles I laid it down. I walked away for just a moment to work on another set up. I was about 30 feet from my rod when I realized I had a fish on. The whole thing was heading into the Suwanee River. It left the bank and sped hurriedly with the current. I jumped into the river to get my pole. My foot sank into a hole and I went face first into the river. By God’s grace I caught my pole. I stood up and realized I still had the fish. After a good fight I landed the beast. Two massive pounds of catfish.
I was drenched from head to toe. I was cold. I was bleeding from my dash against the rocks. And then I remembered that my wife had sent her cell phone with me. It was in my pocket. It was wet. It didn’t work. In the quiet of the early morning I could hear my wife who happened to be about 40 miles away at work. She said a lot to me…..and about me.
I prayed that day….for my wife’s cell phone. After I took it apart and broke out the hair dryer the Lord resurrected it. I was grateful for that. I cleaned my fish, picked up the kids and waited for my wife to get home. When she arrived I told her the whole story. I’ll spare you the details. But to summarize it ” You’re gonna get killed out there one day!” was pretty much all that was said.
Honestly I did feel like an idiot. I did look like an idiot. I was wet. I was cold. I was hurt. But you know what? I’m still going to go fishing. You know why? Because I love fishing. And that’s why I keep at this thing we call ministry. There are times I am embarrassed. There are times I am beat up and overwhelmed with the storms of life. There are times I do dumb things and make a fool of myself. There are times the cold winds of loneliness blow against me. But I keep going. I keep running this race. Because quiet honestly, I love fishing. I love bringing Christ glory by sharing the gospel with a lost world. To a lot of folks it doesn’t make sense. But to me it makes perfect sense. I’m a fisher of men, and I always will be. Jesus told me to follow Him and He would make me into one. He has done just that and I am glad.