A Mississippi preacher once jumped into a lake and grabbed a 12-pound bass with his bare hands!
Warren Whitaker, pastor of Fort Adams Baptist Mission in Woodville, Miss., was at a Big Bass Championship tournament at Lake Fork, Texas. He hooked the large-mouth bass with a tequila-colored worm. “He screamed so loud I thought he was a hog caller,” said a nearby fisherman, J. D. Green.
Then the bass wrapped his line in standing timber. What should the preacher do? He could have given up, deciding it was not God’s will for him to catch that fish. Instead, he decided the Lord would have him to do everything possible to reel it (or pull it) in. After all, there was an $18,000 prize awaiting. So he stripped down to his boxers and jumped into the water, rod in hand. While Green tended his boat, Whitaker felt the line with his toes, but realized the fish had wrapped it a second time. Then the big fish bumped him on the foot. He came up for air, and shouted, “Man, that fish just bumped me and I’m going down to get her!”
Whitaker dived in again, spotted the bass underwater, grabbed it by the tail, bear hugged it to his belly, and hauled it in.
Jesus told some other fishermen who had a great catch that if they would follow Him, He would make them into “fishers of men” (Luke 5:10). The Holman Christian Standard Bible translates the verse this way: “From now on you will be catching people!” How pleased God would be, if we all had the same urgency to reach people for Christ that Preacher Whitaker had to reach that bass.
Brother Whitaker would agree. I know that because I know him. I was the first pastor of Fort Adams Baptist Mission, and he came as pastor of the church later. Fort Adams is in a sparsely-populated rural area, but that didn’t prevent Whitaker from trying to reach people, and today his church is a thriving congregation of about 100 people. He believes in reaching out for people the same way he reaches for fish. He doesn’t wait for them to come to him. He knows it is his calling to go after them. After all, Jesus told us to “Go out into the highways and lanes and make them come in” (Luke 14:23, HCSB). Christian, are you fishing for men?
Copyright 2008 by Bob Rogers. Read this column each Friday for a mix of religion and humor. For more “Holy Humor,” go to the Web page of First Baptist Church of Rincon at www.fbcrincon.com.