Several years ago I was enjoying an early morning trout fishing excursion on the Little Red River. I was by myself and had gotten on the water right at the crack of dawn. The river was very foggy and visibility was about 3 foot. As I stood there by myself fishing I have to admit I was pretty proud of myself for being one of the early risers. In fact, I was one of the only true fishermen around. It is quite a responsibility being one of the most committed anglers, maybe the greatest ever. As I soaked in my arrogance of fly-fishing glory, the fog began to clear. And to my surprise, I was surrounded by almost 10 other fishermen. The closest was a mere 20 yards away! Where did all these people come from? Are my senses so dulled that I could not perceive 10 grown men less than 50 yards away from me? I guess they either magically appeared or I was not paying attention.
Ministry is kind of like that. I spend so much of my time focused on my own world that I can’t see the people around me. Jesus told his disciples once “the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few”. Practically, what that means is that people who are in need of the things of God surround us and that God uses ordinary people to meet those needs. Another time Jesus told his disciples, “you say that the harvest is still a time off but I say open your eyes the fields are white unto harvest.” Sometimes, it strikes me that I live in a fog and forget that there are people around me. Where did all these people come from? What am I supposed to be doing related to their needs? Have they just magically appeared or have I not been paying attention?