The Parable of the Fishless Fishermen
Fellowship. They were
surrounded by streams and lakes full of hungry fish.
They met regularly to discuss the call to fish, the
abundance of fish, and the thrill of catching fish.
They got excited about fishing!
that they needed a philosophy of fishing, so they carefully
defined and redefined fishing, and the purpose of fishing.
They developed fishing strategies and tactics. Then
they realized that they had been going at it backwards.
They had approached
fishing from the point of view of the fisherman, and
not from the point of view of the fish. How do fish
view the world? How does the fisherman appear to the
fish? What do fish eat, and when? These are all good
things to know. So hey began research studies, and attended
conferences on fishing. Some traveled to faraway places
to study different kinds of fish with different habits.
Some got doctorates in fishology. But
no one had yet gone fishing.
So a committee was
formed to send out fishermen. As prospective fishing
places outnumbered fishermen, the committee needed to
determine priorities. A priority list of fishing places
was posted on bulletin boards in all of the fellowship
halls. But still, no one was fishing. A survey was launched
to find out why. Most did not answer the survey, but
from those who did, it was discovered that some felt
called to study fish, a few to furnish fishing equipment,
and several to go around encouraging the fishermen.
What with meetings, conferences, and seminars, they
just simply didn’t have time to fish.
Now, Jake was a newcomer
to the Fisherman’s Fellowship. After one stirring
meeting of the Fellowship, he went fishing and caught
a large fish. At the next meeting, he told his story
and was honored for his catch. He was told that he had
a special "gift of fishing." He was then scheduled
to speak at all the Fellowship chapters and tell how
he did it.
With all the speaking
invitations and his election to the board of directors
of the Fisherman’s Fellowship, Jake no longer
had time to go fishing. But
soon he began to feel restless and empty. He longed
to feel the tug on the line once again. So he cut the
speaking, he resigned from the board, and he said to
a friend, "Let’s go fishing." They did,
just the two of them, and they caught fish. The
members of the Fisherman’s Fellowship were many,
the fish were plentiful, but the fishers were few!