At first, we got a bit of attention having a four year old casting out her Barbie pole. Smiles from the charter boat passengers seemed to say “Oh, how cute, how innocent, and how uh… there ain’t no way she’s gonna a thing with that pole.”
One neighbor walked over and told me that none of us should expect to catch a fish with the using a bobbin and a single hook. You need to have weights in order to go deep – and the bobbin prevents the hook from reaching the big fish.
Actually, I had heard this advice when I purchased the bobbins at the tackle shop. The cashier didn’t even want to even sell them to me. “You don’t need those,” she said, point blank.
“I know I don’t need them, but I grew up fishing with red and white bobbins, in a pond catching bluegill. Since this is the way I know – I’m gonna use a bobbin.”
Then I added, “Oh and I need more worms, too.”
She cried out, “More worms?!. YOU JUST BOUGHT SOME AN HOUR AGO!”
Evidently, I went through too many worms too quickly. The cashier explained that I could cut the worms and use less worm per hook. But when your toddler finds sport in tossing worms into the water, they still don’t last long. Boy, I was doing everything wrong.
Nevertheless, last week, Doug and Julianna caught a fish. A huge fish. A 20 inch Rockfish with a pole that everyone determined couldn’t catch a thing.
In the ninth chapter of Mark, the disciples are quick to plow over each other deciding who is the greatest. From the beginning of the church, it has been a struggle for believers to see each other the way that Jesus sees us – as precious in his sight. There is a part of our human condition that wants to draw lines around who is “in” and who is “out.” The red words of Jesus offer a corrective, pointing out that no one is greater than another and everyone who does ministry in Jesus name is blessed.
When we see someone doing something differently, whether it is fishing, or ministry, may we remember Jesus’ words and withhold our judgment. Jesus, by his death and resurrection, imparts to us the grace to regard each other as precious and share a life together based on his love. Thanks be to God for the grace of Jesus Christ!