When the going gets tough, the tough go fishing. JK.
No, what I really want to talk about is CATCHING fish. I took my kids fishing for the first time at June Lake in the Eastern Sierras of California. They learned what fishing truly is: we didn’t catch a thing. I think they thought it was like in the cartoons: as soon as put the baited hook in the water, you pull out a beauty.
My kids got frustrated. Hosea said he never wanted to fish again in his life. Robert prayed and made vows to God. Rebekah was bored out of her mind and complained.
I laughed. Admittedly, I’m not the ace angler. But I know that fishing sometimes can be like that. You just enjoy the splendor of the surroundings and tranquility of the lake. You eat tuna back at camp (because you didn’t catch trout).
There’s a lesson for ministry in this. Sometimes you’re not catching (Remember the “fishers of men” parable?). Even in times of dryness, of frustration, of apparent stagnation, it’s still more glorious than secular work. So don’t throw your bait into the lake. Don’t drive down the mountain cursing. Hang in there. The more you fish, the better you get. Sooner or later, you’ll not be just enjoying the scenery.
My little kids soccer team bombed its final. If I would have known the defense was going to fall apart, I would have drilled them to tedium on practice. But since I didn’t FORESEE, I did other drills. The adage: HINDSIGHT is 20-20. It means exactly what happened to my team. I saw the problem during the game, not before the game. Coaches win because of FORESIGHT.
Christianity is neither foresight nor hindsight. It is no sight. We live by faith, not by sight. — 1 Cor. 5:7 NIV.
I’m not saying to hurtle forward recklessly without planning, wisdom or counsel. Yes, there is a role for FORESIGHT. But with God, sometimes it is NOT FORESIGHT that is key, but prayer.
Prayer changes the problems you cannot FORESEE. It is NO SIGHT because it takes care of those things we cannot anticipate.
In regards to my soccer team, I don’t think prayer would have given us the victory. Prayer is for more important matters: saving souls, wresting finances, bringing healings. The soccer story is only an illustration for what is truly important.
It’s good to have foresight and hindsight in a limited capacity. It’s also good to let God take care of problems you can’t even see: pray!