Once upon a time there was a beggar who begged all day and frantically searched for something from all what he collected all night long. When he begged people gave him food, clothes, money, grains, scrap metal and anything else that they did not want. In the evening he will dump them all on the floor of his little hut on the side of the road and start separating one by one including grains. After they have been separated he will sit in front of the pile of grain and search through hundreds of thousands of grains because he has heard that there is a golden grain in every beggars pile and it takes patience to find it. Therefore to find the lone and only golden grain he takes all the time in the night hoping to make a fortune of it. He looked for a golden grain in every pile he brought in.
I think we are all looking for a golden grain in our bundles and small possessions. In the midst of all that is going on and all we have to do to succeed in life, some of us search for the grain that glitters.
The story of a fisherman is not different. He casts his net in the sea and waits. He is hoping to make a catch that will provide him security in life. I have lived among them and found it firsthand how excited they get when have a great catch.
We all need a great catch in life. We all want to be that person who will find the priceless treasures to make them precious possessions.
Yes, I want to go with the idea that this is about bringing people into the fold of Christ. Christ is talking about evangelization and Christ is telling the secret to his followers what to do to bring people to God. We have heard that several times.
I want to say it is not just about fishing for people in the troubled waters of life. This is more than fishing for people and preaching the Goodnews.
I am reminded of the stories of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and more prophets when they were called by God they said about the same thing what Peter is saying here.
“Go away from me Lord, I am a sinful man”. I cannot take your greatness. I cannot stand in the holiness of God. I don’t want to stand in the burning bush Lord. I am a sinful man who has gone wrong and who is lost in the affairs of the world.
I think Christ is teaching this man called Peter what to fish for and how to fish. Yes, while it looks like it was fishing for man, he actually was teaching them how to fish for God.
· God is hidden in the depths of life’s struggles. God was found every time a child, a man and a woman was found in the rubbles in Haiti.
· God is hidden in the sickness and failures of life. God was found when every leper, man and woman with aids and in the mental hospitals.
· God is hidden in the people whom we don’t like around us; the rich or poor, the different or lost.
· God is among those we consider not worthy of the kingdom of God.
· God is in those places where no one dares to go.
Fish for God in the darkest and deepest corners of life. There is a golden grain hidden even in the smallest pile of struggle in life.
Peter did not want to go to the midst of the sea because in his mind he could not see the treasure hidden there. He had done all he could in his power to find the golden grain. He could not see how it was possible for Jesus who is not used to fishing find the fish in all those places he had already cast his nets. Because peter was thinking of fish and fish only.
God was not looking for fish. God was inviting Peter to go beyond what he can see and venture into what he cannot see. God invited him to find God in all of life and in the depths of struggles.
I am reminded of a story I read a few years ago of an African deer called Impala. This deer can jump over a 10 feet fence up to thirty feet across. One will think it is hard to keep these creatures in a zoo as the fence you make for them have to be at least 10 feet tall if not more. However they found it is not hard at all. Because impala will not jump until it sees where it is going to land. So if we can build a solid wall of not even 4 feet tall these creatures won’t jump as they cannot see beyond their heights. No leap until it can see the end.
Sometimes we are all blinded by the solid wall we have created in front of us. Our fears and lifestyle have made us fearful of taking a leap of faith to fish for God in the most unlikely circumstances of life.
Fishing in Greek originally meant “catching”. It is about catching God who hides behind every pole and pile, every mole and mile. It is about holding tight to the image of God that appears and disappears as we go along in life.
We came empowered to jump through the hoops of life to the rooftops of greatness. We are equipped to find God when we were set out to go into the waters of the world. We did not come powerless. Not only did we come equipped to find God, but we have God sit on the frame of our boats to guide through these tough times and deep waters so that we will truly find God and treasure Him or Her for a lifetime.
So look for Golden Grain. It is somewhere you never expect.
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