Fishing and God

Today is our 29th wedding anniversary!  Yahoo!  So, this weekend, we traveled up in elevation just outside of Prescott, an hour or two outside of Phoenix.  Some friends graciously offered their house to us for a couple of nights. They have a wonderful place out in the middle of nowhere that is nothing less than a ranch.

The house is gorgeous and has many wonderful features including some great peach trees with juicy, ripe peaches, horses, an outdoor jacuzzi, loads of fun stuff to do and a very nice fishing pond.

So, Mary and I trudged down to the pond with ‘ol fishing pole in hand to “catch us some fish!”  Mostly, I just fed the fish some delicious worms, at least delicious if you are fish.  I quickly was bored and spent time gazing at the deer and antelope that were literally nearby and reading a book.

Mary on the other hand was the consummate fisher woman.  She went head long into her task until near dusk she caught this huge catfish.  It probably weighed about 3-4 pounds and was about fourteen inches in length when she first caught the thing but mysteriously grew to about ten pounds and three feet in length since then.

Here’s the thing about fishing.  It takes patience, unless you happen upon fish that are just ready to swallow a hook and face death for some reason.  You have to slow everything down to become successful.  For Mary, it was cathartic.  It gave her a great sense of peace.

She would later describe it to me as a place she could connect with God, or what some people call “thin places.” These are places in our lives where the layer between God and us is thinner and we can literally connect with Him in unique ways. Fishing gave her a wonderful sense of closeness with God.

For me, it was fun, for a time.  But, eventually, it was annoying. My rod kept rebelling against my casts. And, the fish attracted to my line were apparently very dainty in their eating habits and refused to take a big bite.  I loved being outside in beautifully rolling hills watching the sun go down but this time fishing was just “OK.”

We all connect with God in different ways. The key is to find your sacred pathway or the way that you connect best with God. I can get that closeness when I am chasing a white ball all over a green fairway or even brown tree lines.  I find it when I am laughing with a group of friends.  I discover it when I am holding my wife.  I sense it when I am worshipping with others seeking God.  And yeah, sometimes when I fish… at least when they are cooperative!

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