I stood on a Pacific Ocean pier, fishing rod in
hand, watching the waves lap gently at the pylons. Gulls were catching
wind currents as terns nose-dived into the surf for small fish.
I was in my own world. I had intentionally chosen
a portion of the pier devoid of others.
And then I saw him coming. He was wearing loud
slacks, patent leather shoes and a red-checked sports jacket. I hope
he keeps walking, I thought. I was there for solitude and didnt
want to be disturbed.
And then I had another thought one that
wasnt mine: Witness to him.
My spirit isnt ready, I thought. Id
witnessed cold turkey many times before, but today I wasnt prepared.
If he just keeps walking Ill know the Holy Spirit wasnt
telling me to witness, I reasoned. And I watched anxiously out of
the corner of my eye as he reached where I stood and continued
walking to the far end of the pier. I was relieved. And I rationalized:
If God would have had him come to me and begin a conversation, then
I would have witnessed. Then I sank back into my emotional torpor.
Several minutes later, as I leaned on the railing,
I caught a glimpse of red out of the corner of my eye. I turned, and
there he stood, patent leather shoes glistening in the sunlight.
"Having any luck?" he said.
"Not much," I replied, my mind racing
through conviction to repentance to prayer for direction. When I was
selfishly disobedient, God didnt let me off the hook. This guy
had singled me out and I knew I had to witness to him. And when I
did, I found a broken man whose marriage had been destroyed, who desperately
needed someone to tell him there was hope.
And so I did. Before he left we exchanged addresses
and I put my hand on his shoulder and prayed with him. He was wiping
away tears as he walked away, then turned back and said, "Thank
This selfish fisherman learned several lessons
that day some 25 years ago:
The most important fishing is fishing for
men. No matter what we may be going through, our problems never outweigh
the spiritual need of the lost.
The Holy Spirit does direct believers to
specific individuals. We must obey.
Our spirits must always be ready to respond.
The most effective way I know to witness is this:
Know the plan of salvation, be prayed up and ready to witness, look
for open doors.
If you are prepared and looking, the Holy Spirit
will bring the opportunities your way. Make sure youre ready.