A PARABLE OF FISHLESS FISHERMEN
Now it came to pass that there was a group of people who called themselves fishermen and lo there were many fish in the water around. In fact the whole area was surrounded by streams and lakes filled with fish and the fish were hungry.
Week after week, month after month, year after year, those who called themselves fishermen met in meetings to talk about their call to fish, the abundance of fish, and how they might go about fishing.
Year after year they carefully defined what fishing meant, defended fishing as an occupation, and declared that fishing was always the primary task of the fishermen. Continually they searched for new and better methods of fishing and for new and better definitions of fishing. One thing they didnít do however. THEY DIDNíT FISH.
Large, elaborate, and expensive training centers were built, whose original and primary purpose was to teach fishermen how to fish. All through the years, courses were offered on the need to fish, the nature of fish, where to find fish, classifying fish, and the psychological reactions of fish.
Those who taught had doctorates of fishiology, but the teacher didnít fish. They only taught fishing.
Year after year, after tedious training, many were graduated and were given fishing licenses.
After one meeting on the necessity for fishing, one young fellow left the meeting and went fishing. The next day he reported that he caught two outstanding fish. He was honored for his excellent catch and scheduled to visit all the main meetings possible to tell how he had caught the two big fish. So he quite his fishing in order to have time to tell about his experiences to the other fishermen and also make a movie on the big catch. He was also placed on the fisher-menís general board because of his considerable experience.
Now itís true that may of ďthe fishermenĒ were truly sincere and really sacrificed and put up with all kinds of difficulties. After all, were they not following the master who said, ďFollow me and I will make you fishers of men.Ē (Matt. 4:19)
Imagine how hurt some of them were when one day a person stood up and suggested that those who didnít catch fish were really not fishermen no matter how much they claimed to be. Yet it sounded correct.
Is a person a fisherman if year after year he never catches fish? Is one following if one isnít fishing?