An Empty Fish Tank

Duane Cooper   -  

If you were to walk into our house today, you will hear the gentle, soothing sound of running water. No, we do not have a water leak in our house, no the children did not leave the bathtub running. We have a fish tank. Several months back our girls wanted to get pet fish. We got a couple fish, and we named them sparkles and bubbles, and they were enthusiastically welcomed into our family. However, like so many other Fish, they passed away.  We still have a fish tank, it’s still filled with water, the water is still circulating, ready for new fish to join our family. Most mornings, in the quiet between the time Marina leaves for work and the first girl comes dragging down the stairs, I enjoy that peaceful babbling sound.

It’s such a wonderfully appointed fish tank, as far as fish tanks go, it has pink and purple plants in it (we do have three girls in our house) a couple of wonderful houses in the water, all the things a discerning fish would need to be more than comfortable, I just don’t understand why the new fish have not shown up yet? I mean maybe if I get some better plants, or if I have a couple of friends over and talk about how to get more fish in my tank then they will show up in mass. I really want to see more fish in my tank, I just wish they would come find my tank! However, as I sit here and peacefully listen to my fishless fish tank run, I keep hoping for those new fish to show up, but they just don’t come.

Now, you and I both know I could wish for more fish to come to my fish tank all I wanted, however, unless I get in my car, drive to the store, and select and find new fish I will never have a new fish in my tank. I must physically go find fish to put in my tank.

As ridiculous as this little analogy sounds, aren’t you and I guilty of the same exact thing. We sit in our comfortable churches, and are comfortable pews, and are well appointed sanctuary’s, enjoying the surroundings, waiting, and hoping for new families to arrive. We talk about new people coming, we pray for new people to come, we do all the things we think necessary to attract new people. However, at the end of the day we must be the hands and feet of Jesus to find people to join the body of Christ. You might ask where these lost people are, well you see them every day, you work beside them, you stand in line with them at the convenience store you pass them in traffic, you live next-door to them your kids may play together on a soccer team. The lost people in our world that we know is staggering. The time has come for us to stop hoping new people show up at our doorstep and go find them. We find them by being the hands and feet of Jesus, we find them by serving them, we find them by loving them, we find them by shining the light of the good news of Jesus Christ to the darkest corners of this world. You see, that’s truly what it means to be fishers of men.