License to Fish

May 10, 2014 § 2 Comments

License “The Christian life is never just my story; it’s a community of stories. I learn my story in company with others. Each story affects and is affected by each of the others.”

Eugene Peterson, Leap Over A Wall

Earlier this week I flew in to Alabama to fish with old college buddies in the mountains on Lake Guntersville. The thing is, I don’t fish. Though we were raised in Florida, fish wasn’t in our diet, and fishing was not part of our routine. And then there is the whole matter of cricket (bait) guts…

Strangely, one needs a license to fish. To the uninitiated this seems unnecessary. Our whole lives we have been told that there are ‘plenty of other fish in the sea,’ but I guess that was just a parent’s ploy to ease a broken (dumped) heart… I digress.

Anyway, my friends fish, so I fished. And I’m glad (I even learned how to fly fish and can’t wait to try again).

But for me it was the sweet experience of being gathered into a community of friends who added a dimension to my life that would not otherwise exist.

To great measure this is the value of friends, because we are not only unfinished, but also incomplete, and God uses these sometimes awkward, always imperfect relationships to add valuable layers to our otherwise one-dimensional lives.

Jesus makes a profound statement to His disciples on the night of His arrest when He says, ‘I have called you friends’ (John 15:15). It hearkens to something we find in Exodus 33:11, ‘God spoke to Moses, face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.’

This verse has always blown me away, because regardless of how theologians will parse and explain (and sometimes ruin) these words, what they tell me is that God desires more than a Creator-creature relationship with the human race – but friendship.

Have you ever considered what the disciples may have brought to Jesus that He otherwise would not have had, had they not been in His life?

Listen, I’m not trying to be irreverent here but I’m saying that God created us to be relational beings, starting with our relationship with Him! He takes great delight in fellowship with His creation, and as it winds its way through the course of shared experiences, trials, learning moments and seasons of building up faith, in the scriptures it is ultimately distilled – to Friendship.

Let that sink in a bit (and if it doesn’t sink, I know how to put a weight on your line).

It really is good news.



§ 2 Responses to License to Fish

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