I met several guys fishing. We were a long way from anywhere. We shared similar reasons for being here – a break from our normal routines, an opportunity to be out in nature, and a desire to fish. As I look back, I realized that we dressed to be comfortable and protect ourselves from the intense Western Australia sunshine. Little time was spent on getting dressed up, pressing one’s shirt, or wearing anything not related to the tasks at hand.
It would be easy to summarize my experience as sharing time with others who enjoyed fishing. It would, but there was more. In our time together, I had the opportunity to learn a part of their story. I found myself seeing more than superficial. I found individuals with hearts that cared. Nobody was perfect. Each had a flaw or two, yet the intent of their hearts came across as honorable. Each lived life with a set of values that they held close to their hearts and minds.
If I was to meet them again, I know I would treat them as friends who I cared about. I have no doubts about that however it has caused me to examine how I treat others that I do not know anything about. In my readings I was reminded how “Christ gave up his life for that person. Wouldn’t you at least be willing to give up going to dinner for him—because, as you say, it doesn’t really make any difference?” (1 Corinthians 8.11)
I see the ones I went fishing with in a context of shared memories and stories. I see beyond the immediate into something more. God reminds me that she already knows the stranger in my life. Each is a special individual that Divinity is in relationship with. This knowledge can be an invitation to know them better. The starting point is my openness to helping her/him in their journey. It is the first thing I can do for someone in the family of God. My approach to what comes next can be more than yesterday.