Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Green Fish

These surrendered!See why I don't want to try to handle a green fish?


Much of this year I have been sifting through my memory and library to try to discover what went wrong. It seems to me that there are a lot of people who claim to be believers but do not act like a believer in any discernable way. I have come to the partial conclusion that they may have been too “GREEN” when they came to making a proclamation of faith. In our rush to keep them out of hell we may have inadvertently slowed their maturity. Let me illustrate it briefly:
Several years ago my friend and colleague, Dr Steve Stanley moved to Oregon to teach and pastor. He introduced me to Lon, one of the most believable men of God I have ever met. I love his servant’s heart and his country boy ways. On one trip Lon was teaching me Steelhead fishing in the Wilson River near the Oregon coast. They say Steelhead fishing is the hardest type of fishing to learn because the Steelhead are not feeding and very leery of everything. Some studies says that up to 90% of the bites are so light they go undetected by the angler. This necessitates fishing for them with very light tackle…given the size of the fish and the water current. 6lb test line is about as heavy as you dare use, but a good steelhead will top double that. Add the current, rocks and debris and the odds are greatly in the fishes favor…if you manage to trick one into biting. Seeing the problem I wanted to bring a huge net but they don’t do it that way in Oregon…at least Lon doesn’t. Lon told me that when I caught a fish, play it until it went belly-up and then just pick it up. After hundreds of casts I managed to hook a fish. Getting it to shore was not a big problem but every time I tried to land it, it would just strip off the line from my reel. Finally it got away. It was too GREEN…in fisherman’s terms. The next fish I hooked I let run as many times as it wanted to run, not trying to muscle it to the shore. When the fish tired it did a really odd thing. It floated on it’s back, belly up! It was easy to land and because it was a native, release. The point Lon wanted me to learn was to let the fish struggle until there was no struggle left, then it would willingly yield itself to the angler. Sure a huge net would shorten the process but it would also injure the fish to be released. I leared my lesson and used it well as shown on my cell phone pictures of my last Chum Salmon trip (above).

This is where I think we go wrong in our efforts to “land” a person for Christ. We hook them with the offer of forgiveness for sins and eternal life but land them in a net before the Holy Spirit has had time to play all the self life out of them. They enter their life in Christ full of fight and independent living instead of having let self play out. I wonder if we get so anxious to get them into the boat that we forget what the Holy Spirit is trying to do, which is save them from their sins and from themselves. How could we do it better?

1 comment:

Doni Brinkman said...

Good analogy Dad. How could we do it better? Lead by love and not by law to start with I think.