Fish Distribution Center, or Fishing Classes?

The Parable of the Lonely Fisherman

A Seychelles fisherman and his catch of fish (source: wikimedia)

Once there was a successful fisherman in a remote village.  At that time, no one else knew how to fish. Consequently, there was no danger of him losing his job.  He was the only one with “fish stories” to tell.  It didn’t matter how small his catch was.  ITraditional Icelandic Fisherman (source: Wikimedia)t was always the best catch of the week.

He was the hero of the village, because he was the only one.

However, as time went on, the fisherman felt lonely.  He missed his wife, and his kids hardly knew him.  Everyone depended on him to provide fish for the village, so much that he was always out in his boat, no matter how bad the weather.  Whenever he was sick in bed from being out in the boat so long, he would always have to work even harder to catch up afterwards.

Finally, the master fisherman could stand it no longer.  He chose several young men and brought them out on the boat with him.  It was a struggle, but he paid for their fishing rods and nets and other essential equipment.  Then he taught them everything he knew about fishing.  He didn’t hold anything back.

No longer lonely

His students were quickly able to pay him back for the fishing rods and nets from the profits they were able to earn from their new skill.  And from that day on, though newcomers to the village didn’t know his name, the master fisherman was never without friends.  Everyone who could fish, and their relatives, would remember the day that he sat beside them in his boat, teaching them the secrets of the deep.

It didn’t take long before his students began to catch even larger fish than their teacher had ever caught.  The crowds gathered around as they shared their fish story.  Soon, all the children in the village wanted to become fishermen when they grew up.  And the fishermen of that village filled the islands everywhere.

And it all started because one lonely fisherman shared what he knew with a few young men.

Teaching others how to “fish”

Here at Desert Springs Ministries, we teach others how to fish.  We do so by necessity, because the task is so great.  How could we ever possibly keep up with the task of bringing God’s Word to the refugees and to the spiritual deserts of this world, if we tried to accomplish it all by ourselves?

If we kept our secrets to ourselves, we would have many more stories to tell.  Once you teach someone how to do what you do, there is always the possibility that they will do it better than you do.  In the Kingdom of God, that’s a good thing, for their story, in part, becomes our story.

However, as Jeff Goins reminds us, if you know more than most people about something, then you are responsible to share with them what you know.

So, the question becomes, “Do you want to learn how to fish?”

Would you like to learn how to live in rural situations in third world countries?  Can I show you how to overcome the obstacles that keep you from living where God has placed a heart you to go? 

If so, please leave a comment below, or contact me using our contact form.

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