Ed, my neighbor next door, told me he was going fishing Sunday morning. Of course I had to ask, “Are you going to church first?”
He answered with a resounding, “No church for me any Sunday!”
“Don’t you ever go fishing?” Ed inquired.
“I fish only for souls,” I replied. “What is the best thing about fishing besides catching a fish?” I asked Ed.
“The silence – being on the water in a boat and just waiting for a bite, a time to relax and daydream and enjoy the solitude and the promise of a great catch,” Ed answered.
“Do you realize four of Jesus’ disciples were fishermen?” I questioned Ed.
He conceded that Jesus knew how to pick good fishing buddies. I told Ed that when Jesus indicated where to fish, they caught so many fish the boat began to sink. Ed said that it sounded like a fish story that he had trouble believing. I suggested he ask God about it sometime when he was out on the lake fishing by himself. I said that God speaks to us in silence and solitude. We need more silence in our lives and fishing can be excellent place for finding some.
Perhaps the greatest difference we face from generations of the past is the disappearance of silence. Our modern world is full of blare and blast, traffic and talk. Many televisions are on from the time people get up until they go to bed. The younger folks have cell phones in their hands and speakers in their ears and minds set on games, texts and podcasts to no end.
God calls us to be still and know that he is God. It is important for us to be silent and still, so that God can get His word into our souls. Yes, God’s word says that there is a time to be silent and a time to speak, but silence often gets lost instead of having equal footing with speaking. The Bible says it this way, “The Lord is in his holy temple (heaven); let all the earth be silent before Him.”
We are told in the Bible about Mary and Martha when Jesus and his disciples came to their home. Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to Jesus as he spoke. But Martha was so anxious about all the preparations that had to be made for Jesus and his disciples that she went to Jesus and complained, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha, Jesus answered her, ’you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.’”
We can be at church and be like Martha – so distracted with our own thoughts that we do not hear what God wants to tell us. We can be fishing and so focused on the fish we caught or the one that got away that we are not ready to hear what God wants to impart to our hearts. Are we willing to be silent and still so God can speak to us?