by Avery Hasenauer
At a young age I was a restless child. Officially I believe it is diagnosed as the middle child syndrome, but I was always seeking attention and wreaking havoc on my other siblings. I recently watched a home video from when I was 5, and my parents literally threw a tennis ball off of a wall until I was tired enough to go to sleep.
As you can imagine my desperate parents tried many techniques to settle their youngster down. It wasn’t until my dad bought me a Mickey Mouse fishing pole and sat me on the dock of our little lake in southeast Michigan that I found peace. There was something about the calmness of the water and the slight breeze brushing along my face that soothed my being and drew me closer to the unmovable Mover that set this beauty into motion.
As I began maturing in my faith I was always drawn to the Bible stories that involved nature. I remember reading about God revealing himself to Moses in the form of a burning bush, Jesus walking on water, and of course Jesus calling the fishermen to be his disciples. Luke 5:1-11 tells the story of a group of fisherman that spent their entire night casting nets to no avail, then Jesus told them to cast their nets near the shore and they brought in so many fish their boats began to sink. These future disciples were so afraid that Simon Peter fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” Jesus in his infinite mercy told him, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”
Reading this story forever changed my life. God knew my heart and the ways in which He could best reveal His love to me. I felt those same sentiments the great fisherman Simon Peter had, and they echoed in my heart, “Lord; I am a sinful man!” God responded to me in the same way, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”
Since then my passion for fishing and nature has taken a new perspective. I am incredibly fascinated by the tiny intricacies that make up our ecosystems. For example, have you ever watched how schools of minnows swim? Or wondered how fawn deer have spots that blend into their surroundings but go away after a year? Or why trees actually grow better when certain branches are pruned? These questions help us learn more about this beautiful world we call our home, and reveal to us the beauty that is a reflection of the One that set things into motion.
That is why as Christians, we are called to a deep responsibility to take care of the world we have been given. We must lead the way in resolving the world’s most complex issues involving food, energy, economics, clean water, and the environment through research, reason, logic, and prayer. We owe it to future fishers of men and women.