During a visit to an Asian country a few years ago, I happened to stroll down to the harbor along with some local friends. As we ventured out on to one of its piers overlooking the water, we noticed a solitary woman fishing, hunched over a single pole, its line descending into the murky depths below.
Glancing at her stony expression and the few, tiny fish swimming in the plastic bucket beside her, we asked how long she had been at it. “All day” was the dismayed reply, quickly adding even more gloomily, “I come most every day to catch some fish for my family’s dinner or to sell in the market.”
I wondered at the dedicated persistence of the woman, keeping at this unrewarding task in the hot sun day after day. “Would I be so committed?” I found myself reflecting inwardly. But my admiration of this rugged individual was short-lived.
Gazing over the edge of the pier, I noticed hundreds, even thousands of fish darting back and forth in the shadows. And my wonderment at the lonely fisher woman’s dedication abruptly turned to astonishment at her stupidity. For if she had simply enlisted the help of a friend and together lowered a net, she could have harvested a thousand times as much.
How often you and I, in carrying out the Great Commission, are like that woman, dedicated and persistent, yes. But in the final analysis, stupid and shortsighted because we do not work closely with others engaged in the same task. We prefer to go it alone and settle for disappointing results rather than work the nets together at Christ’s direction to enjoy a spectacular catch for the Kingdom.
Through networking in the power and unity of His Spirit may we all become true “fishers of men”!
– John Robb, The Field Based Network
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