Monday, April 16, 2012

Gone Fishin'

He's 3. I'm 33. It was the first fishing experience for both of us.  I touched the worm. I got dirty. He accidentally (on purpose) "fell" in the creek. We didn't catch a single fish. But it was one of the most enjoyable and memorable days I can remember.

My boy loves the outdoors. This mama is learning how to get dirt under my manicured nails, find joy in all the insects that would normally "bug" me, and stick my feet in the creek and get them muddy and not care. (Okay, I care a little bit...but it all washes off!)

Some days the fish are biting and somedays they aren't. But you've got to at least be willing to bait the hook, cast your line, and be patient. Even a normally active and energetic little boy was willing to patiently wait in hopes of catching the prize. The mud and water and worms didn't phase him. Not in the least. I was certainly stepping outside of my comfort zone, but I'm so glad I did.

He demonstrated more patience than I anticipated. But after about an hour of not catching anything and the minnows nibbling away at the worm, he wanted to get in with the fish, determined that if he was closer he might catch something. He was content to wade in the water. He found a red plastic cup that he wanted to use to catch the fish instead of the rod. I explained why this wouldn't work, but he didn't care. He was enjoying scooping a cup full of water at a time and carefully inspecting to see if he'd caught anything. I'm proud to report he caught an acorn, leaf and a stick, but no fish.

Jesus told the disciples to cast their nets. He taught them to make fishers of men. And so you and I have been commissioned. I admit - I share smiles to passers-by, offer compliments to complete strangers, start up conversations with those in service positions - all attempts to be some small example of Christ's love.

But what if I went one step further. What if I was willing to remove myself from the comfort of my little world, even go past the safety of the creek bank, and wade into the waters. You see, I think E had the right idea. His red plastic cup might not have been the right tool to catch fish, but he was willing to get into the water where they were. He wanted to be in their environment. Down and dirty, literally. Even throwing himself in at one point saying, in his own words, "I'm being just like a fish." Could my little fisher be teaching me what it means to be in the world but not of it?

I'm willing to bait the hook - even if it means getting dirt under my nails (or worse, worm guts). I'm willing to cast my line - even if it means having to wait patiently for a fish to swim my way. I'm also willing to step off the creek bank and wade into the waters to go where the fish are.

I'd say we have a fishing trip to schedule...  Want to join me?

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