How we teach fishing

A meditation for the educators of Eureka College —

Complete this saying: Give a man a fish and he …. Teach a man to fish and he ….

That’s what we do — we teach. Jesus drew his disciples from among fishermen, and called them to a vocation — he taught them to be “fishers of men.” But as I looked through our catalogue, there’s no fishing courses. But I saw other subjects.

Teach a man biology, and he will understand the science of life.

Teach him environmental science, and he will know our interdependence with other species.

Teach a woman engineering, and she will build a seaworthy boat.

Teach her art and even her carved wooden oar will be admired.

Teach a man math, and he will know where he is in the ocean.

Teach him philosophy, and he will sense his place in the universe.

Teach a woman business, and she will craft her livelihood.

Teach her economics, and she will steer her career through the tide of markets.

Show young students the spark of discovery, and they will teach themselves. Lead them to love an idea, and they will be curious about other ideas, and appreciate those who love them too.

Invoke a man or woman’s calling, their place and purpose within a world that needs them, and that person will stand upright, move, serve and lead with a newly tapped strength, a wellspring within themselves.

That’s what we do at Eureka College. That’s how we teach fishing. That is our discipleship.

We thank you, Lord, for giving us this mission. In your mercy, in your desire to give purpose to our living, you have called us to freely give the loaves and fishes that seem meager to our eyes, but in your blessed hands feed the hungry by the thousands with more leftover than we could have hoped or imagined. You are calling us, forever forward, onward, upward. Make your call clear to our ears, especially when we want to look backward in fear, rather than looking forward in faith to the mission you lay out before us. Amen.