Monday, July 03, 2006

Reason #33: He's a Fisherman and a Fisher of Men!

Two fishing trips in one week is unusual for my workaholic husband! But the salmon were "running" and the guys from church invited DH to go "dip-netting" in the Chitna River. DH took our son, Ben, for the second year in a row, on the excursion. Last year, they stood on the shore, after climbing down a treacherous cliff to get to the riverbank. This year, they were invited by someone with a boat, so they were able to maneuver the rough ridges and crevasses of the river better.

DH told me AFTER they came home that a man had nearly died the previous week at the same spot they fished. The man wore a life preserver, and was tied to shore with a safety rope, but the 47 degree water turned him into a "popsicle" quickly after he fell in, and it took rescuers over thirty minutes to pull him to shore. He was paralyzed from hypothermia, and suffered cuts and bruises from being dashed into the rocks, but he was alive!

The guys had fun, even though it was a lot of work, and the fish weren't as plentiful as they had hoped. They ended up staying the night on Tuesday, so that they could go back out for more the next day, after the rain and winds died down. They did not make it back in town for Wednesday evening mid-week service at church, which really surprised me.

Then, Saturday, DH went on another fishing adventure, ALL DAY! This time, they fished for greyling in a lake. It was raining and windy again, and they all got wet, but they got some fish, and we promptly fried it up and ate it, at the home of one of the fishermen. That meant that DH was gone all day and into the evening on Saturday, which is just unheard of. Saturdays are one of DH's favorite days to work in the office, because there is less traffic and distraction from people stopping by to see him, and all the staff members have Saturdays off.

As we crawled in to bed, DH weakly confessed, "I don't have my sermon finished or my Sunday School lesson." So, bright and early, Sunday morning, DH rose to face the day at 5:00am. He finished putting the "meat" to his outline of his sermon, and had to make a Powerpoint presentation, but the bulletin notes were already done and inserted into the bulletin.

"Change My Attitude" is the name of the sermon series that DH is preaching, and it deals with the Old Testament stories of Moses and Joshua. This time the subject was "Rebellion" and it was a powerful message. DH preached about how the Israelites grumbled and complained against their leaders, and the ground opened up and swallowed them, and fire zapped them, and plagues destroyed them. He remarked that it sounds like something out of a "sci-fi" movie, but that "this is serious stuff, folks!" Rebellion needs to be dealt with fully and completely.

Even though he didn't spend the usual obsessive amount of time at the office last week, DH did do a lot of fishing, both literally and figuratively. The culmination of the week was when he presented the message that God loves each one of us, and wants us to surrender our lives to His control, because He is a Good, Loving God. There are parts of our lives that we want to retain control over, and we try to rule our own destiny, but it is only out of rebellion.

As DH made his final comments, the conviction was so heavy it could almost be felt in the air, and the sound of crying could be heard throughout the sanctuary. Then, he masterfully "reeled in" the wayward hearts and led them to the altar of repentance. He had been practicing that technique all week in the natural realm; things of the spirit often mirror the physical.

The "fisherman" was also a "fisher of men".