I don't want to go hi-tech on you but when you are fishing you want to give yourself the best advantage possible. Of course you choose lures and bait that are what the fish like. But there are other factors. Last Friday and Saturday I was at the Choctawhatchee Bay fishing. I noticed that the fish were feeding and not feeding based pretty accurately on what are known as solunar tables. These mathematical calculations predict the times when fish are likely to feed based on tides, and the position of the sun and the moon. It might sound a bit astrological but it is more the pull of gravity, the times for the tides and whether the tides are incoming or outgoing. The best site for bay fishing is called tides4fishing.com . It makes the process simple enough for even me. At the bottom of the tide chart you will see little fish. The more fish, the better the day to fish. While weather, wind and other factors are important, I have found that the solunar tables put more fish on my table, and that is a good thing.
In our fishing for people I was wondering if we could maybe think out-of-the-box and gain some extra insight on when and how the "fish" will feed? Here some thoughts.
We know the Spirit (pheuma or wind in the Greek) blows where it will. Maybe finding the fish in the mood to feed might mean we need to be attentive to listening and perceiving the Spirit. John Wesley thought that our spirit and God's Spirit were in communication and that if we were listening, attentive to the means of grace and in fellowship with God and people we would perceive these movements. Thursday night of last week I could feel, hear, smell and taste the Spirit as it moved through the room while we sang, "A thousand times I've failed, still your mercy remains!" God's Spirit moves when people are reminded that God is faithful even when we are not.
I have often felt there was a great gap between the language of the Church and the language of culture. While I am not suggesting we dilute any of the message, it would seem prudent to examine the institution of the Church and get rid of anything that is not a movement of God. John Wesley worried that while the people (institution) called Methodists would persist the power of God might become lost in the structure. We must constantly be careful to remember that God's Church has always been a movement of scattered, uncomfortable but fulfilled and passionate people. Let's speak the language of our present age while speaking the truth of the Gospel.
Finally, do you remember how Jesus was not afraid to get rid of the "dead horses?" Jesus looked around and say sheep without a shepherd because the shepherds had displaced God's purpose with their purpose. When I fish I change tactics if the current tactic is not working. If something in our daily operation is not working or not reaching the "fish" we are trying to catch, we must be willing to change, modify or eliminate that non-functioning method.
In the end we are trying to bring the fish into God's great net. They might be dirty, stinky, slimy and not our cup of tea. But I am reminded of a T-shirt that said, "St. Peter's Fishing Company. We Catch Em, He Cleans Em."