As Jesus walked along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw two brothers who were fishermen, Simon (called Peter) and his brother Andrew, catching fish in the lake with a net. Jesus said to them, "Come with me, and I will teach you to catch people." At once they left their nets and went with him.
If there's one thing I'm quite familiar, it's mission. I've been going on trips locally, domestically, and internationally for over twenty years and twice as many projects and trips as that. Fishing for people to go with me has just been part of the fun. However, other than a little casting with worms from docks and boats, I wouldn't call myself a fisherman.
So when Joe Araoz tapped me on the shoulder one Sunday and says a date in April and says he's going fishing and we are invited, I quickly said yes. To learn from a master fly fisherman is a treat and Joe's a great guy. We were pretty excited to jump on the Soaque River with him.
Vincent, our 12 year old, and I made some PB&Js, dressed in layers, grabbed our polarized sun glasses and hats and rode up to Clarksville with Pastor Randy. We had no fear of any kind. Joe dressed us in waders and boots and outfitted us with poles and tied on flies. We stomped down to the river and he patiently explained the art of casting and helped us paint our first strokes.
In minutes, upstream from some feeders, we had each caught fish. I will admit both of mine would have fit in my front shirt pocket. But, Vincent battled a rainbow trout the size of Joe's arm for fifteen minutes with careful and patient instruction from the master. He followed his words carefully and with much excitement and struggle and joy, he landed the fish and Joe scooped him up in the net. We admired the beautiful and powerful fish, removed the barbless hook, and gently released the fish back to the stream. Joe held it till it recovered and swam away on its own.
If you're curious about fly fishing and supporting our mission efforts, speak with Joe Araoz at church. If you're curious about fishing for people or going with us on our next local service or a domestic or international mission trip, come talk to me. I promise we'll hook ya. And you'll never have more fun. After all, the first handful of folks who followed the Master were fishin' when he called them.