This week I updated my tackle box. I discarded rusty swivels, corroded hooks, and rigs tangled beyond repair. I put sharp hooks on lures that have many more casts left in them. I peeled away plastic worms that adhered to everything they touched as they became sticky with age and the heat of the Suncoast. (My wife was probably less-than-thrilled that I chose the family room for this task.) I sorted saltwater tackle from freshwater and placed it all neatly into my new tackle box (actually a Christmas present I hadn’t used yet).

It’s evident that I’m really looking forward to Friday’s fishing outing, but there are many things that remain for me to do. I haven’t decided yet which hat to wear – the ball cap with a tarpon on the front or the olive drab hat with a full brim and retaining strap. I’ve planned a trip to the grocery to get what is needed for everyone’s sandwiches. Then I’ll ice down the sodas, seal the hole in my bait bucket, check the tide chart…

After all that, I hope to find time to replace some of the ancient line on a couple of my reels. I am expecting at least one really big fish and need all the help I can get.

“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” With those simple words Jesus called Simon Peter and his brother Andrew to become His disciples. They left their nets, boats, and family to follow the Savior (Matthew 4:18-20). With that same invitation the Lord demonstrated that a major component of discipleship is evangelism. As believers, we must never forget our inherent responsibility to be soul winners. There is no way to genuinely follow Him and ignore lost people.

When convicted we say, “Lord, if you’ll bring someone my way I’ll witness to them.” That sure doesn’t sound much like my preparation for this weekend’s fishing trip. Where is my anxious anticipation? Where is the strategic planning? Where is my thoughtful and diligent effort?

The truth is that even when God directly answers this prayer, we forget our promise. He regularly brings people into our daily lives that need to hear the Gospel message. However, because of our business, selfishness, and timidity we say nothing to them.
I’m looking forward to an awesome time of exciting results at our fishing excursion. May God likewise give us hearts that are sincerely burdened for the lost.