Guest blog, by Pastor-at-Large, Stephen Persson, First Baptist Church – Sycamore.
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” Matthew 4:19
My favorite COVID-19 story is about fishing. Trout fishing that is. A couple guys I know came up with an ingenious way to catch their limit for two weeks straight. They had heard that the stream in the White Pines State Park had been stocked with trout in preparation for the season’s opening. Intending to show up there as soon as the opening arrived, they were disappointed to hear that the governor shut down all state parks in Illinois. That meant that no one could travel into the park to the pools where the delicious trout were eagerly waiting to be caught.
So they did a little thinking; How could they get the trout to come to them outside the park or how could they get into the park without being in the park to catch the fish? And then it came to them. Although White Pine State Park was under the jurisdiction of the DNR, the waterways were under the jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers. And the Army Corps of Engineers had no restrictions on being in the waterways.
So they hatched a plan. They parked their car by the bridge outside the park, put on waders and walked in the stream until they arrived at the pool where the fish were waiting for them. And did I mention that they caught their limit every day for two weeks straight? I’ve told that story more than a dozen times. I really love it! What do you think I like the story so much? Is it:
A. I love to tell fishing stories even when it stretches the truth a bit? (This is a true fish story)
B. I delight in finding ways to beat the system by circumventing the rules?
C. I like the way that this story encourages me to be creative as I pursue fishing for people?
Well, I wish I could say it is C. But I’m pretty sure I like the story because I have a sinister desire to try to beat the system. So I’m going to face up to that reality and ask God to give me a greater heart to capture people for the glory of God.