Tom Abalan just had to show off his “fish hook” lapel pin to me the other day. As usual Tom expressed a lot of passion about its meaning. He is a passionate guy in general but the hook thing is right on! He wears the pin as a discussion starter but most importantly for what it says about his heart. He has a heart for men. He wants to “hook” them for Jesus. He wants to see their lives turned around and made “alive, alert, and enthusiastic”.
The fishhook pin has been around for a long time and has been used to symbolize various ministries but seeing it the other day on Tom’s lapel brought a fresh revelation to me about the essential mission of men’s ministry. Just like Jesus we to need to be “fishers of men”, hooking men and saving them from the “slough of despond”. What is that? Here’s the definition:
1. a place, as a hollow, full of soft, deep mud
2. Etymology: after Slough of Despond, a deep swamp in Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress
deep, hopeless dejection or discouragement
3. moral degradation
4. a swamp, bog, or marsh, esp. one that is part of an inlet or backwater
(Thanks to http://www.yourdictionary.com/slough)
Men don’t often know that they need to be “hooked”. The “slough” has engulfed their lives to the point that they think its just their natural environment. Not until they get hooked by Jesus and brought to the surface do they realize that life can be better.
How about joining Tom and the rest of us in the “Brotherhood of the fishhook”. If you want to be about hooking guys and helping them follow Jesus, ask Tom for a pin. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org . Lets go fishing!