Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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What If God Responds?
by Tom Goodman
June 25, 2008

If you consider yourself a seeker after God, you should seriously consider if you're ready to meet the God you say you want to know.

I remember an experience on a fishing trip from many years ago.  I must have been only 9 or 10 when it happened, but I still remember how weak my knees got and how hard my heart pounded.

My uncle had baited my line and dropped it over the railing of a walkway that ran along a Gulf coast causeway in Pensacola, Florida.  The bridge had been decommissioned for anything but foot traffic, and it was a rickety old thing.  The wooden planks were weather-beaten and rough under my bare feet, and the whole contraption shuddered with every footfall.  My uncle had walked ahead of me, trolling his line over the handrail as he went.  Soon he was a hundred yards away, and it was quiet enough to hear the rhythmic slapping of the seawater upon the pylons twenty feet below.

Little boys love to "go fishing," but they can quickly get bored without any action on the line.  I had fallen into that bored state, dully letting my bait sway upon the surface of the rolling swells.

Suddenly, a huge fish emerged from the murky waters and shot toward my line.  Fearing that such a magnificent fish would pull me off that old wooden walkway and into the wild, deep sea far below, I panicked and yanked my line out of the water.  The fish disappeared into the deep as quickly as it had appeared, and I was left alone again with unsteady legs and a thumping heart.

While many of the people I've talked to are on a sincere spiritual search, others merely "troll" for God.  They have no anticipation of finding what they say they're searching for.  If God's presence actually welled up from out of the mysterious deep, they would abandon their search for fear of being pulled away and overwhelmed.

In your spiritual search, it's important to settle the question of what kind of "fisherman" you are.  What will you do when what you've been searching for actually responds?

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