Asbury United Methodist Church
Love - Share - Tell - Serve

May 12, 2017

This morning I woke up with fishing on my brain.  Who knows why?

            Maybe it’s because I plan to do some fishing next week down in the Florida Straits.  What I do know is that fishing can be over-the-top thrilling or a complete exercise in frustration, at any given moment!

          I once hooked a giant tuna off the Florida Keys a couple of years ago.  I cranked that reel as hard as I could because I saw tuna steaks in my future.

            I saw that tuna covered with sesame seeds, searing in a pan!  My imagination saw it slightly pink in the middle and crusted on top!  And, there on the side of my plate was a heap of wasabi.  This was a fairly vivid daydream!

          But, my dreams and hopes were dashed!  A shark had a similar plan for that fish.

            My line took a hit and I felt it go slack.  Even so, I continued to reel hoping that shark had left me something!

            But, sadly all I ended up with was a fish head that had been severed from the body.  It had been sliced  as cleanly as surgeon.

          I felt like crying.  I think I kind of did a little bit.

            One fly in the ointment with regard to fishing off the Florida Straits is that whatever is hooked becomes fast food for sharks.  But at least I had the thrill of hooking it…and dreaming.

          In fishing, the solution is always the same.  No matter what, you keep casting.

          I have been in the Gulf Stream for hours when nothing was biting.  For some unexplained reason the fish just stop biting sometimes.

            Life becomes miserable at sea.  It gets really hot out there and I cannot count the number times that I have sunburned my feet, of all things!

          Sometimes the waves become really choppy and they never seem to tire of beating upon the boat.  Sometimes fishing can become a really miserable endeavor.

          But, as I said…the solution is always the same.  No matter what, you keep on casting.

          The same day that I lost my precious tuna to that aggravating shark, I hooked a mahi-mahi that was probably in the fifteen to twenty pound range.  It was vindication!

 

          I say again, in fishing the solution is always the same.  No matter what, you keep casting.

          I was reading about another fisherman this morning.  His name is Peter.

          Peter probably knew all there was to know about fishing in his region.  This was his livelihood.  He was a professional.

          And, Peter talks a bit about casting too!

            He wrote, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:6-7 NIV).”

          I am guessing that Peter was remembering that fishing trip that he and the boys went on right after the crucifixion.  It was game over.  Everything they’d left their careers to follow was dead and gone.

          So…he and the boys just went back to what they knew previously; fishing.  But even this was not working out for them.

            We are told, “So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing (John 21:3b NIV).”

          They fished all night and caught nothing!  Man, that’s a downer!         

          I say one more time, in fishing the solution is always the same.  No matter what, you keep casting.

          A voice from the shore shouted out, “Cast again…on the right side of the boat and you will find some fish.  When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish (John 21:6 NIV).”

            (And, yes that voice was from Jesus but we are told they did not recognize him.)

          Let’s expand our imagination for a bit.  I think this casting ideology extends far beyond fishing, don’t you?

          Are you struggling with anxiety?  Keep casting!  Do you have a chronic issue in life that seems exhausting?  Keep casting!

          Are you filled with discomfort regarding a family member?  Keep casting!

          Is your job simply more than you can handle?  Keep casting!  Is your boss a tyrant?  Keep casting!

          Does this world seem completely out of control to you and do things seem to be going from bad to worse?  Keep casting!

          Fill in the blank __________ ?  Keep casting!

          There is even a modern hymn that urges us to do this very same thing…keep casting:

I cast all my cares upon you.

          I lay all of my burdens down at your feet.

And, any time that I don’t know what to do,

          I will cast all my cares upon You!

(Cares Chorus, Kelly Willard, 1978.  Maranatha Music.)

 

          And, Kelly will sing this for you right now if you’d like for her to.  Take a listen.  This is not a bad way to begin a Friday…not one little bit!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2asG2Lgs8_I

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