That was the kind of fishing that was familiar to me -- or maybe that fly fishing stuff I've seen on TV.
And you can think of it in these terms, but it really wasn't what Jesus was talking about.
The kind of fishing He was comparing God's work to was net fishing. And the nets were huge. Here's a picture of one kind of net they used back then:
Anyway, check out that net. There is no way one person could do it alone -- not even two or three could use that net. It took a couple boat loads of fishermen to bring in the catch with this net. Let me share a bit from the article written by Elizabeth McNamer:
The dragnet is the oldest type of net. The netting was shaped like a long wall 300 feet long and 12 feet high. The bottom of the net had weights with sinkers, and the top rope had cork floats. The net was folded. A team of up to 16 men held the strong rope attached to the dragnet. Then the boat sailed out with another team until the net was fully stretched and then circled around and back to shore. Here the second team alighted and held the ropes. Both teams then dragged the net and its contents (hopefully a large number of fish), back to the shore. This method enabled one to catch the fish who were hiding out at the bottom of the lake. The fish were then handed over to be sorted and the operation performed again, as many as eight times in one day.
Did you read that? 300 feet long and 12 feet high! Wow.
So, why do we often go it alone in life and in God's work?
Sometimes it is an isolation thing. Sometimes it is an independent spirit thing. Sometimes it is just an American thing. We are so into being independent and self-starting and at times these traits can be good things.
But not when it comes to what life is about -- relationships.
I'm terrible with this myself. I like my alone time. I like my routine. I like things my way in my house. (Did you notice all those "mys?" All of it belongs to God, not me).
My, my, my way isn't going to change the world.
My, my, my way isn't going to make a difference in people's lives.
My, my, my way isn't God's way.
And your, your, your way isn't either.
We must traverse those walls, break them down and work together. We need to quit focusing on differences and embrace Jesus and each other and then see God work.