A Fish Story by Author Unknown

Now it came to pass
that a group existed who called themselves fishermen.
And, lo, there were many fish in the waters all around.
In fact, the whole area was surrounded by streams and
lakes filled with fish, and the fish were hungry.

Week after week, month after month, and year after year,
those who called themselves fishermen met in meetings
and talked about their call to go fishing.
Continually they searched for new and better methods of fishing
and for new and better definitions of fishing.
They sponsored costly nationwide and worldwide congresses
to discuss fishing and hear about all the ways of fishing,
such as the new fishing equipment, fish calls
and whether any new bait was discovered.

These fishermen built large and beautiful buildings called Fishing Headquarters.
The plea was that everyone should be a fisherman and every fisherman should fish.
One thing they didn’t do; however, they didn’t fish.
All the fishermen seemed to agree that what is needed is a board
which could challenge fishermen to be faithful in fishing.
The board was formed by those who had the great vision and courage
to speak about fishing,
to define fishing, and
to promote the idea of fishing in far-away streams and lakes
where many other fish of different colors lived.

Large, elaborate and expensive training centers were built
whose purpose was to teach fishermen how to fish.
Those who taught had doctorates in fishology.
But the teachers did not fish. They only taught fishing.
Some spent much study and travel to learn the history of fishing
and to see far away places where the founding fathers did great fishing in centuries past.
They lauded the faithful fishermen of years before who handed down the idea of fishing.

Many who felt the call to be fishermen responded.
They were commissioned and sent to fish.
And they went off to foreign lands … to teach fishing.
Now it’s true that many of the fishermen sacrificed
and put up with all kinds of difficulties.
Some lived near the water and bore the smell of dead fish every day.
They received the ridicule of some who made fun of their fishermen clubs.
They anguished over those who were not committed enough
to attend the weekly meetings to talk about fishing.
After all, were they not following the Master who said,
“Follow me and I will make you fishers of men?”

Imagine how hurt some were when one day
a person suggested that those who don’t catch fish
were really not fishermen, no matter how much they claimed to be.
Yet it did sound correct.
Is a person a fisherman if year after year he never catches a fish?
Is one following if he isn’t fishing?

If Christ were to return to this Earth today in physical form,
would He find us fishing, in obedience to Him, or
would he find us organizing, talking about fishing, and
making plans to be the best Fishing Headquarters anywhere?

“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.  when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. Jesus came and said to them, “All authority iin heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and kmake disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”         — Matthew 28:16-20

[PHOTO by Catherine Showalter Wharton]

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About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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One Response to A Fish Story by Author Unknown

  1. Sharon Buttaci says:

    Good story!!

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