Sunday, 1 June 2008

Fish supper

Its Saturday afternoon. East end of Glasgow.

My good friend Jonathan and I meet up for lunch and, in the process, decide to take our food to the nearest park and eat it there as the weather is absolutely immense! Picture this - the sun shining, temperature surely hovering around the 20-degree mark, people hanging out in their summer clothes...the hottest season of the year had well and truly kicked in. It was incredible.

So we go to a hot food bar along Alexandra Parade in Dennistoun. Jonathan gets an omlette and I get a fish supper; here was me trying to be healthy too but I couldn't resist. We walk up the road, cross over and walk into Alexandra Park, a lovely big park that felt a bit like the revelation of the Secret Garden to me - I'd gone past it loads of times before and I'd often heard about it but never til this day actually been in it.

After we sat down on the grass, we opened up our food, gave thanks and tucked in; and I noticed that the two - not one, two - pieces of fish that I'd been given were big beasts of things! Seriously, if I was a veggie, I'd have been worried because they looked more like a pair of battered whales as opposed to cod, and they were delicious too. But, all of a sudden, as I took a bite and was looking at the fish, I heard God speaking to me. I mean, how surreal is that? There I was, sitting in the heart of Dennistoun with my mate on a hot summer's day and the Lord was communicating to me through this piece of fish that I had in my hand and I was eating away at it.

What He said to me was that it must have taken a heck of a man to pull out those two big fish from the water.

But how ironic it is for a city such as Glasgow - or any British city for that matter - associated with fish and chips that the real fishing that needs done is the fishing of men. To go out into the streets, the community, the city with the fishing nets God has equipped us with, bring them in to the house of the Lord and, rather than be fed by the fish, feed the fish ourselves. They are the type of fish that need caught and need fed with the gospel.

After we proceeded to walk around the park for another few minutes, we came to the bridge above the motorway and just stood there for at least 10 minutes while the sun baked down on us and the motorway down below was very busy. People were travelling to and from Glasgow, going at ridiculous speeds; different types cars drove past, I didn't even count the range of age groups or backgrounds but I'm certain they were large. And I asked myself, where are they going? Do they even know where they're going? Do they have any particular reason to be driving today? Are they lost?

The fact is that many of those drivers are like the fish that need caught. That need WON for the Kingdom. As each car drove past - and there were loads of them, by the way - I looked at each one thinking God loves him, God loves her; God loves the dude with the new Mercedes, God loves the chap with the old beat up Austin Metro. No-one was exempt from that.

And how many of them know that?

I just pray that we can make a difference out there and be the fishers of men that God wants us to be. Remember when he chose the disciples? Young men who were were relatively nothing in their society, yet this Rabbi, this teacher, walks over to them and says "Follow me....I will make you fishers of men" - all of a sudden they felt worth something. They had purpose.

My question for you is do you realise how much your calling to go out and extend the Kingdom is?