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Sunday night just after supper, the wind went down to nothing and it was clear we were in for a glorious sunset. 


So, of course, I convinced myself I should go fishing.


There’s a lake with some fish in it less than ten minutes away with a pretty nice dock to stand on, and I have caught a fish or two there every once in a while, so why not, right?


As I arrived at the lake, I could see someone was already on the dock. A young father and his son were enjoying the beautiful evening –and the child was throwing rocks into the water.


And, yes, there was a small part of my old codger’s brain that was whispering crabby, complaining thoughts about how this kid was scaring all the fish away.


As I approached the dock, fishing pole in hand, the young father saw and immediately said, “Sorry. We’ll go home as soon as he’s done throwing this pile in the lake.”


There was a pile of about a half-dozen smallish rocks at the child’s feet. 


“No, problem, ” I said as I fought back the crabby old man inside me. “He’s a kid throwing rocks. Let him have his fun.”


The youngster whipped a rock with all his might… possibly all of twenty feet.


“How old is he, about two and-a-half or three?” I asked the father as another rock sailed toward the deep.


“You nailed it,” he said. “Two and-a-half.”


The kid whipped another rock. He had a big head of curly hair and a dedication to really showing those rocks who was the boss of them.


As he finished and son and dad came walking down the dock, I asked, “What’s his name?”


“Ezekiel,” the dad said.


“Ahh, good name, young man. My name is Dan. Do people call you Zeke?”


“Yup,” said the dad. “Zeke.” Apparently, Zeke doesn’t talk much to strangers. Good for him.


“Well, pleased to meet you, Zeke. God bless you. You both have yourself a good night.”


And with that, they got in their car and left. I stood on that dock casting and casting for at least an hour and never had so much as a tap. 


Had Zeke scared off all the fish? Well, the way I figure it, those rocks that kid pitched in the lake could probably account for scaring off the fish for ten minutes or so, but the remaining fifty minutes of not catching fish was all on me for choosing to fish when they just weren’t biting.


There was indeed a beautiful, glorious sunset, and when I got home, I told my lovely wife about little Zeke and his rock-throwing skills. And, I said, “Come to think of it, maybe Zeke had a more successful time on that dock than I did.”


“All depends on how you define success, doesn’t it?” my wife said.


And as I sat down to write this, I couldn’t help but think that many times we who are fishers of men might be more successful and catch a few more if we refrained from throwing rocks at them because, while a fish might come back after ten minutes, people who have rocks thrown at them may never come back.



Today’s Praise

John 8:7

“They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” (NLT)


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