I decided it was time for me to talk to my neighbor about fishing. So I made a plan to pick a day I thought that he would not be busy and put it on my calendar. I made sure that I had gas and that the batteries in the boat were charged and ready to go. I researched a couple of fishing holes and chose one that I thought would be the best to go to. I looked over a map of that fishing hole to get familiar with the topography of the lake so I would have an idea of the best spots to try first. I went out and pick up some live bait that would work best for the fishing we would do. I got up early that day and packed all my fishing equipment and some snacks and drinks. I hooked up to the boat and pulled it to the lake and put it in the water. I waited and I waited some more. I couldn’t believe he was not showing up after all the effort I had gone through. I had worked hard to make this a great experience and now he does not show up.
Have you ever had that happen? Maybe not with fishing but with something else you had planned. It is so frustrating and so heartbreaking to have gone through all of that effort and to really want to talk fishing with him and then not have him come. I began to go over things in my mind wondering where things broke down. Did he have an emergency come up? Is he just not interested in fishing? I really wondered why this went wrong. Then I thought to myself, you really don’t think he expected me to actually ask him to go along do you? I mean it was obvious I was going fishing. I even told him I was going fishing and talked to him about what lake and how the fish were biting right now. He seemed interested in it, but do you think I actually needed to say something?
For many years the church has operated by a Field of Dreams approach to outreach. If you build it they will come. Jesus shows us a different model. Jesus crosses boundaries. Jesus leaves his hometown. Jesus talks to people who are from different places, who believe different things, who live different lives, and in many other ways were different compared to him. In doing this he crossed cultural boundaries, physical boundaries, social boundaries, religious boundaries, and many other boundaries to show us that we are to be a boundary crossing people. We are a go to people, who go to others and invite them to come and see. We need to remember this important step.