There is a photo in existence somewhere around here that my aunt took of me. Every time I see it I have a great memory. It is a picture of a little, crew-cut sporting version of me with a gigantic smile holding my first bass ever. It isn’t a little dinky bass either. It is a nice two-pounder that was the biggest one I caught for quite some time after that. I was really happy in that picture and seeing that kind of smile on myself always brings a grin to my face no matter how tough a day I am having.
I had been fishing at some lake near my aunt and uncle’s house with them and Grandpa. I was really young and had been relegated to messing around with the bluegill that readily pulled my bobber under, got hooked and were tossed back into the lake. My uncle on the other hand had a purple Crème worm and was working his way around the lake catching one bass after another. A purple Crème worm was purple; it was a pre-rigged setup with three hooks in it and a propeller in front along with a few beads. I wandered over to my uncle’s tackle box and saw one in the package. I wasn’t interested in fishing for bluegill with red wigglers anymore. I wanted to use that purple bass slayer that teased me as it lay there in my uncle’s tackle box. I asked my aunt if I could use it. She said no. I didn’t like that. I cast my bobber out onto the water and half-heartedly caught more bluegill as I watched my uncle drag more bass out of the lake. This was killing me. I asked again, “Can I use the purple Crème worm?” She said no. She said no a lot more times. I had made up my mind that the worm laying in the tackle box and me were a match made in heaven. We were destined to team up and catch the fish of a lifetime. Finally she said yes and in a flash it was on my line and I had it in the water. On the second cast, I caught the fish of a lifetime. Well, it gave me a lifelong memory. I was filled with joy because I had managed to accomplish what I set out to accomplish. I can remember being so excited and being told to be quieter because my voice carried across the water and disturbed other fishermen. I couldn’t contain myself though and my success was broadcast to anyone that would hear.
I wish the rest of my life had gone like that. There has been a lot more failure, a lot less persistence and a lot less celebration than I experienced on the summer evening a long time ago. I’ve not been very good at following the example that Christ carefully laid out for me to follow. I should be watching what He is doing and desire the same success He had. But I have always assumed that I should just expect to be on the sidelines toying with bluegill while He caught the big fish. I need to begin to desire to do the things He did, to live like He did.
John 14: 12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. “
Today I need to raise the bar. No more bobber, no more bluegill. I need to believe that I can do all things through Christ just like a kid that believes that purple plastic worm is going to catch a big bass. I need to understand that by following His example that my success is guaranteed. Even if my success is disguised as failure, I need to understand the He has done something special and supernatural that is beyond my comprehension. When I feel like I am not equipped for the job I need to ask for what it takes to do the job just like the kid begging for the right lure to catch the big fish.
John 14: 13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!
Jesus isn’t telling me to ask for a new car or a big house in this scripture. He is talking about doing great things in the Kingdom of God. Anything I need to do God’s work, He will give it to me. I will have the best of the best. I am not going to go out and do big things equipped with a cane pole, a string, a hook and a can of night crawlers. I am going out on the water in a sea-worthy vessel full of big-game tackle and a crew.
God, help me to see that I can do far greater things through you. Help me to ask for the things that further Your Kingdom and not my own selfish desires. Amen.