Did you catch anything? people ask. But somehow they miss the point. I hadn'nt been up all night, but I did get up and go out before breakfast to have an hour and a half on the river bank, on the last day of the fishing season!
Considering the birds, I didn't fancy my chances. All winter long cormorants have been working this stretch of river. Now they have gone. I expect they have followed the shoals of roach etc. they have been feeding on. It is only to be expected that the pike and perch that feed off the smaller fish will have moved away too!
So what was the point of getting up early? The river bank is a great place to say one's prayers. As the cold began to creep in, my heart turned towards those families with small children in refugee camps and among the bombed out buildings of Gaza. I wondered at the way the Prince of Glory shed everything to be a refugee child in the Middle East!
One amazed, wondering moment followed another. "Consider the birds...." Did I hear that, or remember it? Kingfishers went to and fro. A heron flapped by. Pied wagtails flitted. Somewhere a thrush was singing. My mind went back to disappointed fishermen on a Galilee beach and the one who called them. " Follow me!" He said. Did I hear that, or remember it?
Just before I reeled my line in there was a massive pike take on the surface no more than 6 feet from my float. It turned out that although I had caught nothing, I hadn't been wasting my time! Perhaps that's a lesson I can apply to my evangelistic efforts. "There's no hope of catching anything unless you put in the time, make the effort, have the right kit and the right bait etc." Funny that! Did I hear it or remember it?
There's a strong possibility that the Carpenter of Nazareth still speaks to fishermen on the waterside. Hmnnnnnn...........