Monday, August 9, 2010

6 little fishies in the croc pond

Just the other day, my boss brought me fishing. Yes, you heard me right. My boss brought me fishing. During office hours, no less! That's something which I truly appreciate about being in Sweden - There's no real sense of hierarchy here, and organizational structure (especially start-ups) are pretty much flat. Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed at the amount of trust they're placing in me, a simple intern. These are privileges that I'll treasure, and be sure not to abuse.

So we went to the river near our office and caught some worms (eergggh!). Using a simple line, hook, sinker and float, we managed to snag ourselves 6 smallish fish within the hour. Fish aren't really the smartest creatures - you throw out a bait to them and they quickly come swimming around to 'get the good stuff'. That's normal. What I'm amazed with is the fact where, even after their 'friends' start disappearing one by one, they still come back for more! In fact, they come back even faster, as though annoyed that "that other fish got it all"!

Silly though I might sound, I realized that we are pretty much the same. How many of us get 'snagged' by money? Or gambling? Or various forms of addiction? We know that something's not right, and we see others suffer a crappy fate, yet we still continue to fall for the bait, thinking "Hey, the other person has become a millionaire through gambling/smoked for 40 years and is still healthy, why should anything happen to me?"

In any case, we skipped (or I skipped) back to the office with our prize catches. 6 fish! Our crocs are going to have a feast! Oh. Did I mention that my office has 2 crocodiles as pets? No kidding. They had a good time trying to chase the fish around the tank, and Bert (the older croc) ended up eating all of them. Ed was too slow, and had nothing to eat in the end.

6 little fishies in the croc pond
6 little fishies in the croc pond
Bert went CHOMP and the little fish was gone
So now there're 5 little fishies in the croc pond

But in the midst of the 'live office entertainment', I recalled a little verse:
"Follow me, and I'll make you fishers of men" -- Mark 1:17
Don't you think that that's such a strange thing to say to anyone, much less a fisherman? Yet, when Peter, James and John heard these simple and enigmatic sentence from Jesus, they immediately dropped their nets (their livelihood and lifeline) and followed him -- no questions asked. I couldn't figure it out. So, under my friend's prompting, I looked up the different places where this incident was being mentioned.

It turns out that, out of the 4 gospels, 3 of them mentioned this event! That's quite interesting, and it certainly shows the impact that Jesus had made on these three disciples of his. How can one single sentence prompt a person to drop everything that he has to follow a stranger?

The answer lies in the first few verses of Luke 5.

Jesus' preachings from Simon Peter's boat must have been inspiring - inspiring enough to Simon Peter to obey when he was asked to let down his net at the side of the boat. Not only was Jesus only 'a little away from land', Peter was an experienced fisherman who had been out the whole day without catching anything! You have to understand that a fisherman doesn't just 'let down their nets' for the fun of it - It takes a fisherman many painstaking hours to wash, fold and take care of their nets in order to keep them in a good condition for future use. Given these conditions, I find it amazing that Peter obeyed immediately.

And boy, was he rewarded! They caught so much fish that their nets tore! But instead of rejoicing over the large catch and hurrying straight to the market to sell the fish while they were still fresh, Peter fell at the knees of Jesus, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord". It's no wonder that when Jesus asked him to leave everything and follow Him, the trio did so without hesitation.

How did your Christian journey start out? Was there a significant event (or series of events) that stirred your hearts to turn to Christ, to respect and be in awe of Him?

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