This morning I got to take my 9 year old son, Matthew, fishing at Anna Maria Island at a place called the Rod and Reel. It was a nice morning with a slight cool breeze blowing off the water. It’s Spring Break 2016 so everyone and their brother, cousin and bestie was there fishing this one particular morning. We rented a couple of fishing poles and bought 2 dozen shrimp that like to jump out of the bucket they gave us.
We walked around the back of the small older shack that sits on the water, only to find an empty bench where we would sit and fish for the next hour or so. Matthew counted on me to bait his hook and position his pole in the water where he would catch the fish he was after that day. After we sat down and got all settled in, I noticed that nobody was casting their lines out very far. Instead, they were just dropping their lines right down in front of them trying to catch the fish that directly beneath them. I got up and walked around to the place I had rented the poles looking for the guy who sold us the shrimp. He was not around however there was a another guy doing some busy work in the same area. I asked him, “Why isn’t anyone casting their lines out in the water, they are all dropping them straight down”? He replied,”All the fish hide underneath the dock”. He told me to drop the line straight down and try to catch them that way. After all, everyone else was fishing that way.
I went back to the bench and Matthew and I fished for the next hour or so and caught nothing. I just enjoyed spending time with my son fishing. Were we trying to catch something? You bet! So we kept throwing the lines over and over and over. Now something caught my eye at about the had way point I neglected to mention. Many of the people weren’t sitting on the bench anymore fishing, they were laying down on their stomachs, hanging over the edge of the dock and casting their rods underneath the dock. You see, thats where the fish were! I knew that, after all, the guy who works there had told me where to catch the fish.
I began to notice 4 or 5 people sitting around us lying down and fishing. Here’s the funny thing, they began catching fish. One by one, they reeled them in and celebrated catching a fish! They weren’t big fish but that didn’t matter, after all they were catching something. I was faced with a decision, do I make the sacrifice and lay down on my stomach to catch something or sit on my bench and hope for the best.
I wish I could give you a happy ending to the story. I had a choice that morning. I honestly didn’t want to get uncomfortable and lay down on the hard, wooden dock to fish. I wanted to catch a fish, but not sacrifice myself to that point. It felt as though the Lord was speaking to me and saying, “to follow me you will have to make some uncomfortable sacrifices in your life.” It won’t be easy but will certainly be worth it. The ones that chose to lay down and do the uncomfortable, were the ones who got the reward.
God reminds us all the same thing. How bad do you really want it? How much of a sacrifice are you willing me make for Christ? I was challenged this day and reminded that to follow Christ, will require me to get uncomfortable sometimes.
The Reward is always greater than the sacrifice!