Hook, Line & Stinker
For Michael Adams, Martin Davidson & Tim Enten & Jason Goebel
We boarded the boat this morning just like the last trip, except today I knew what to expect. My travel companions did not. We’d see the shores of the Sea of Galilee, learn about how much of Jesus’ life revolved around this body of water, sing Amazing Grace or another hymn, do some other things, and recall how fishermen since ancient times have cast nets in these waters to harvest fish for a living. Today my mind returned to last September.
On Labor Day morning 4 of us loaded the gear and headed out of Little River, SC on Jason’s boat. It was time to fish. At a nearly infinitive number of spots along the way we saw schools of bait size mullet. Those little things stink stink stink when they die…ugh! As we got really close to shore approaching some dense schools Jason gave control of the 28’ Regulator in shallow fast moving water over to Michael. Tim and I mentally high fived each other when we realized we weren’t even on the radar to maneuver the boat. Jason, carefully balanced on the bow, threw the 10’-12’ cast net repeatedly into the schools attempting to pull in bait fish. In jerky motion with water smacking us from many directions, no fault of Michael’s, the boat went back and forth—I swore, through not fault of his, Jason was going to end up in the water. The banter between those two was stressful, but very funny at the same time. I, not being much of a sportsman, had $20 and a cooler that could’ve saved the whole scene had we stopped by a tackle shop…but think, then we would have missed all of this! We made memories that day.
Fast forward a couple of weeks. My very best buddy, Tim, the one from the Labor Day boat trip decided he wanted to learn how to masterfully cast a net. Our friend, Martin, spent hours instructing us, mainly Tim, how to throw a cast net into the surf at Holden Beach. After we realized we’d have to put down our cigars to be successful, things took a positive turn. Even though we have A LOT of fun we’re not always the brightest duo. Again, we made memories that day.
The stories and mystique of the water at the Sea of Galilee run deep (pun possibly intended). On these shores Christ met Simon Peter & Andrew casting their nets (Matthew 4:18-22) much more masterfully, I am certain, than my friends do (not me…remember, I’m the wuss at the tackle shop). Christ calmed these stormy waters by His hand; He invited Peter out of the boat and had him walk on the water; Jesus fed the 5000 on the banks of this Sea (at the place now called the Church of the Multiplication), and into these waters the demon possessed swine ran and drown themselves after Christ drove the evil spirits away.
Water’s imagery pervades the Bible everywhere. It signifies life, trust, and purity. It is beside a well in Nazareth, where Gabriel first appears to Mary to announce to her she would bear God’s son (this place called Mary’s well now housed inside a Greek Orthodox Church is not a place with which many people are familiar). Even the essentially lifeless Dead Sea offers capitalists a plethora of opportunity to sell bath & spa related products (somebody please tell me now how I’m going to keep Thaedra from shipping home 25 pounds of bath salts——they are pretty awesome I must admit).
Jesus told Simon-Peter and Andrew to fish for men.
Here are some images of the ride today.
(Leave it to me to find birds, not fish on a sea,)
I began today this story talking about a few of my friends and their cast nets. I very specifically selected them for a reason (none of them, other than Michael, had any idea I’d be publishing this—-sorry fellas). In a sense, I’m calling them out, because if you saw them on the street you’d think they were simply regular guys living regular lives. To know them a little better means to know that they reflect Kingdom work.
Michael is one of many people I know who has worked in missions abroad serving in Guatemala. He has left his extremely comfortable first world life to serve and to build to be an instrument of grace and agent for change among people he’ll never see again.
Martin (white shirt, below) might be the smartest person I know. I’ve only begun to know him well, but in this time I have watched him serve our church, become highly committed to our men’s prayer and devotion group, and recently step up after his father’s death to be a rock solid foundation on whom his mother can depend. He is a model son.
Tim (green shirt) has worked intensely hard for our church (much of it behind the scenes) to edify it and improve it for current and future generations. Congratulations to him for recently being recognized with a prolific and well deserved missions-service award. In many ways he is an unsung hero people will not ever understand.
Jason (Capt. in the white) inspires me. Vocationally he uses his extreme intelligence to help people navigate medical and cardiology issues. But he is just a real dude…the kind of person you like to hang out with and want to get to know better…approachable, sincere, a you get what you see kind of man. He is real people there for folks when they are really scared about heart surgery.
You wouldn’t look at this group of men and see a 1950’s era bunch of conservative, maybe a little socially repressed “church men.” They are by every standard, modern, open minded full throttle ahead guys who who reflect the light of Christ—and I’m pretty sure they don’t even think about it. In identifiably unique ways each of these friends has been and continues to be a fisher of men. Today on this Lake called Gennesaret, this Sea in Galilee, I am thinking of some of these friends and what we are all called to do with our gifts and how we are called to cast our nets.