In honor of Father’s Day, here’s a little preview into “Devotions from Everyday Sports.” Hope you enjoy! Let me know what you think.
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10
When I was a child, my dad would take me to a small lake for some catch-and-release fishing, not too far from our house. We would sometimes walk to it with our fishing gear. I say, gear, because he would take his pole, tackle box, and bait, I would take a baggie full of bread. Once we got to the lake, my dad would get all set up—put bait on the hooks, find a good spot to cast, and he would fish. I would get bored. Being quiet, and sitting or standing still, when there was so much to see and do at the edge of the lake, was tough for a kid. And I had my bag of bread. It wouldn’t be too long, and I would be at the water’s edge, checking out tadpoles, and trying to catch a few. I would disturb the waters, the fish would scatter, and my dad would graciously say, “Stay here. I am going to move down a little ways to fish.” I would gladly comply, and he would move further down the shore.
After I saw he was settled in and fishing again, I would plop down on the bank and open my bag of bread. I would break off small pieces and throw them on the water. It wouldn’t be long, and the fish would return. They nibbled at the bread, and I got to have “conversations” with the fish, because I was being still, and I had offered them a treat. Eventually, I would have so many fish snacking on my bread treats that my dad would come back closer to where I was and he would catch a few fish on the outer circle of the breadcrumbs.
I know this is not the type of fishing most people think of when they think of sport fishing. There are many competitive fishing tournaments and serious lake fishers, but these memories of fishing made a connection for me in my spiritual life recently. I realized as I was reading through the New Testament that not one time did Jesus shout someone into a salvation decision. Most of the time, He sat and conversed with them, and offered them the Bread of Life, in one form or another. It may have been in a large arena—the days He taught, and fed, thousands come to mind. Or, it may have been a one-on-one conversation with a Centurion or a Sadducee. The connection for me was this—go to where the fish are, be calm, and offer them the bread. In our world, we don’t need more yelling; we need more telling. Tell them about Jesus.
Thought-provoker: Are we offering the Bread of Life to the unbelievers around us?
How are we offering it?
Lord, thank You for the reminder to be still and that salvation comes when we share the Bread of Life with those around us. Help us to remember to tell it, not yell it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.