Starfish on the beach, or fish into the Kingdom bin?

You know the story about the guy who threw a starfish in the sea, right? He said to the guy who doubted if it would make a difference to world history, “Well, it made a difference for that one.”, as he threw that starfish into the waves.

Well, I doubt whether throwing a starfish into the waves will make a dent into world history. It probably was thrown back onto the beach with the next wave. And who cares about a starfish? You wonder, if saving starfish is so important, the question is, how much time we ought to spend in the heat, or rain, on a sandy beach, every day, to save starfish?

If you really believe that saving starfish is your calling, by all means go right ahead and spend the rest of your life as a beach bum throwing starfish back into the waves against the course of nature. because they always wash up again.

Now, we as Children of God, have not been called to pick up salty sticky starfish to sail them into the ocean. We are called to higher things. Jesus never said, “go to church on Sunday”, but he did say, “GO into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature, and follow me and I wil make you fishers of men.”THAT’s the high calling.

And I think that if that is the highest calling for a child of God, then I am very surprised that on the beach of life, we find so very few beach-bumbs throwing people into God’s Kingdom bin. Where are all the fishers of men? Where are all the spiritual starfish collectors and – casters?

I could leave you with this thought now, and go eat my breakfast, but I would like to drive the nail into you a little bit deeper? Why! To make you uncomfortable? No! In hopes that we get an army of spiritual starfishermen, who make beach-combing their calling, or deep sea fishing their profession, or spending most of their time on a cod fish trawler for the rest of their life!

Why? Because ever since we were caught on the hook of his mercy and grace and were thrown into the bin of everlasting life, we have had the feeling that what was good for this goose, must be pretty good for the gander as well. And therefore, as the saying went, “Now you is a fish, and now you is a fisherman!” goes for the gander as well.

Life is funny, or rather strange. I was listening to these 6 children of God all percolating like fresh coffee together on this podcast, mostly wondering what to say next about far out subjects like Nephelim, Orion, cults, Trump, Illuminutties, mysticism, worship, and tolerance of  fringe Christians, and love, love, love, etc. They spoke for about 2 hours, all very sweet and well meaning, but there was only one who told about his time spent on his beach “saving starfish!”

I don’t know about you, but that part for me was the most interesting. I felt that if fishing of men is the highest form of loving the Fishermaster Man, then we ought to be on the beach at least 6 days a week. What do you think?

The master Fisherman said to his friend Peter, who just caught 153 fishes because he was finally following the Master’s instructions again, after spending a night in the deep catching NOTHING, “Peter! Do you love me more than these?”, pointing at the fish they just caught. Peter didn’t really get the point very well. He thought of course Lord, you know that I love to eat fish, but in fact I do love you more.

That question was answered. But the master fisher asked again, “Hey Peter, do you love Me?”
What the heck was He asking it twice for! “Of course Lord, you know that I love you?”

And then to top it off, He asked the third time,  “Peter do you really love Me”
“Sure Lord, you know all things, you KNOW that I love you!”

Well, I have omitted the ripostes Jesus gave Peter. But He said three times, “THEN Peter! Feed my sheep! Feed My lambs. Take care of My sheep!”

Hmmmm… what was the Master fisherman saying? Do you think perhaps that he was saying that we express our love for Him most by how much we “feed his sheep, feed his lambs, care for his sheep?” Sure sounds like it. Doesn’t it?

It begs the question, how many of us really love the Master? How many sheep have we fed today, or yesterday, or last week, or last month, or over the past year, or during the last 10 years of our short existence on this planet Earth? THAT ought to be the question that we should ask ourselves, as we are no longer sitting around the campfire with Jesus physically to eat a few grilled fish and toasted bread any longer.

Only Peter and his friends got the honour to be personally asked that question by the Master, as I am sure the other disciples didn’t pass up the question in listeners’ generosity to pertain to Mr. Peter only. No, they had learned to apply Jesus’ questions to themselves, over those short three years they spent their lives with him, day in day out. Besides, they had been fishing with him, feeding sheep, and taking care of lambs for those three years almost every darn day, so much so, that often they didn’t even have time to eat themselves while they were feeding others. And their master Himself had been working so hard that he could only find time to sleep on the boat while a storm was raging! That was some deep sleep, if you ask me.

So, lets dig the hole deeper now. “Where your treasure is, THERE will your heart be also!”

I have a good friend who supports God’s work, who loves to go to the beach at night to catch those colourful pacific fish here in Taiwan, with a flashlight and a little net. He waits for the low tide in the night, and shines his light and scoops up the most colourful ones in his little net and after three four hours of doing that he goes home and dumps his catch in his aquarium! Any chance he can get, any time he can make, he will drive his car 2 hours to get to that beach, after he knows from searching the internet if there will be low tide that night. he is super dedicated!

When I see him every month, I always ask him how the fishing went last month, as I have learned finally that talking about your own exploits to others can be quite boring for them. So asking questions can make people feel good about themselves. As he hasn’t learned that yet, he hardly asks me what I have been doing, but never mind, it is my job, to draw people out of themselves, and ask questions to open them up enough to drop some seeds of truth into their hearts that maybe some day will germinate and bear fruit for the Kingdom of God.

You know that perhaps already, if you read Carnegie, that to get people talking about themselves, it is not only good for soul fishing, but also to do better business! But that is not where my Treasure lies, so that is not where my heart resides either. Anyway, perhaps you are getting the point as I dig a deep hole in this blog post,

I am just like my friend. Every day I love to spend time as a beach comber on the beaches of life in this world. Perhaps that is why John says in his book of Revelation, “I was standing on the beach. On the sand of the sea!” Wow! I think.. John was a fisherman too!

How about you? Are you collecting starfish to throw them back into the inevitable waves, or are you collecting clownfish for your aquarium at home, or are you a Peter who is suddenly worried about his sustainability wondering how he is going to get something to eat, as the Lord hadn’t shown up for a few weeks after His initial appearances in the locked room, once without Thomas, and once with Thomas. For dear Peter said to the  other 7 stumblebumbs, “I go fishing!” And that night they caught NOTHING!

“PETER! Do you love ME more than THESE!”

“Peter do you love fish so much? Is that where your treasure is Peter?”

What is your treasure? Church? Nephelim? WOOOORship? Pastoring? Being minister? Starships? Mysticism? BMW-s? Computer games? 9-5 working for Bill Gates? Or some boring bank? Podcasts? Where is your heart at in the final long run. Because the heart always goes after our treasure. It is an uncanny thing.

Now, I am not saying these things to get all uppity nor to show anyone up. No. I am just like this guy on the beach consumed about the fate of these dumb starfish lying around baking in the sun and perishing, and every one I find I cast back into the water. Except my starfish are people, and whenever I get a chance you can find me at the beach. Sure there are days I loathe the beach, and the heat, and the sand, and the starfish. But even then, I have this compulsion, or perhaps it is a supernatural impulsion of the Holy Ghost, because it surely does not come from myself. Taiwan is hot in the summer, and the beach is baking me. But I am ever scanning the beach horizon to see if there are other starfishers like me, and I am always thrilled to bits when I see another guy or girl picking up starfish, and saying, “Well it made a difference for that one!”

Then I slam him on the back, and say, “Wow man, I am so happy to meet you. God bless you. I thought I was all alone.” Such a meeting is unlike the others I had, of people who come up to me at the beach and say, “I also love the Starfisherman, I am also a starfisher”, but I never see them pick one up. Instead they will grill me and find out which fisherman’s wharf I attend or belong to, and what kind of fish doctrine I adhere to. I always give them a little manual called, “Witnessing.”

Now I feel horrible, because I dug a deep hole, and people probably feel that I am trying to tell everyone what a wonderful starfisher I am. But no! That is honestly not my bag. I am just a little lonely on the beach, and somehow in spite of my pride, selfishness, self-centeredness, and self-glorificationism, etc., somehow I have a deep desire and hope – God given no doubt! – that one day the beach will be full of starfishers and that we can actually save all the starfish on the beach from perishing in the sun. Believe it or not, THEN, I believe, we are finally getting closest to the real objective. What do you think?

 

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