By Paddy Elkins
Valley Bugler Columnist
Do you know any devoted fishermen? I have known a few: My best friend, Lila, and her husband, Bob, started Bob’s Surplus and Sporting Goods after World War II. Bob is the ultimate fisherman! I visited them at their beach house a few years back, and Bob went fishing on the ocean all by himself at 5am, (he is in his 90’s!) and came back with a lovely catch for dinner. Lila cooked up and Bob “slathered with butter”, just the way he likes it. (He also swears that THAT is the secret of his longevity… to slather EVERYTHING with butter! But I strongly suspect his amazing work ethic also contributes heavily to his long and extremely productive life.)
My other best friend, Chrissy, has a dad who’s definitely “hooked”. Jerry Fike has patiently and faithfully fished the local rivers for years, providing freezers full of yummy salmon steaks for Chrissy and her mom and himself. (And occasionally for lucky others like ME when he feels like sharing…)
Our son, Steve, absolutely has “the bug”. He is passionate about fishing and fishes every chance he gets. From a boat. From shore. Doesn’t matter. He has it down to a science. Knows Bob’s Sporting Goods like the back of his hand. Knows exactly what bait, lure and tackle to use to entice whatever kind of fish he’s after, onto his line. Recently, he landed a 25 pound steelhead! A BEAUTY! Took pictures. Is having it mounted. Shared the precious meat with his dad and I! We LOVE that boy! He has a wonderful, generous heart! And we love his passion for his craft!
Less than a month ago, my husband and I had the privilege of standing together on the shores of the Sea of Galilee – where Jesus called His first four disciples – all fishermen. Peter, Andrew, James and John must have all heard and believed good things about Jesus, because they immediately dropped their nets and started following their Savior. He eventually taught them to become “fishers of men”. Because they already “thought like fishermen”, He was able to provide them with the ultimate BAIT to use to capture the hearts of men, women and children for the Kingdom of God! (The Good News of the Gospel!) And now it’s our turn to think like fishermen. Amen? Let’s GO FISH!