Several years ago I came across this extemely profound parable which again was brought to my attention this week.
Now it came to pass that a group existed who called themselves fishermen. And lo, there were many fish in the waters all around. And the fish were hungry.
Week after week, month after month, and year after year. Those who called themselves fishermen met to talk about their call to fish, the abundance of fish, and how they might go about fishing.
Year after year they carefully defined what fishing means, defended fishing as an occupation, and declared that fishing is always to be a primary task of fishermen.
Continually they searched for new and better methods of fishing and for new and better definitions of fishing. They sponsored costly nation-wide and world-wide congresses to discuss fishing, promote fishing, and hear about all the ways of fishing such as the new fishing equipment, the fish calls, and any new bait.
In addition to meeting regularly, they organized a board to send out fishermen to other places where there were many fish. All the fishermen seemed to agree that what was needed was a board which could challenge fishermen to be faithful to fishing.
Large training centers were built whose original and primary purpose was to teach fishermen how to fish. Over the years, courses were offered on the needs of fish, the nature of fish, where to find fish, and how to approach and feed fish. Those who taught had doctorates in fishology. But the teachers did not fish. They only taught fishing. And those who were sent out did exactly as those who sent them. They formed groups and held special meetings to define fishing, to defend fishing, and to declare how important fishing was. They talked about the great need for fishing. They prayed much that many fish might be caught. They analyzed the fish and discussed what is necessary in order to catch fish. But one thing they did not do, they did not fish.
Now it’s time that many of the fishermen sacrificed and put up with all kinds of difficulties. Some lived near the water and bore the smell of dead fish every day. They received the ridicule of some who made fun of their fishermen’s clubs and the fact that they claimed to be fishermen, yet never fished.
Imagine how hurt some were when one day a person suggested that those who don’t catch fish are not really fishermen. Is a person a fisherman if he never catches a fish?