Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fishin'...Bread of Life Section

Sunday is my day to share a piece of my soul. Enjoy.

Most of my life I can look back with fondness on the time spent next to my Father on the banks of a sleepy river. A few days before the 4th of July was always a golden time to go camping or fishing. Logan, Utah being one of our favorite locations. It is there I returned on my recent trip to visit my family. Along with my Father and sisters, I awoke early and made the drive to the nearby Logan River dams for some fishing. The sun was warm and bright, cascading in columns through the happy leaves of the morning. It was indeed a picturesque scene.
It's always amazing to feel the energy surrounding my dad as he gets his gear together and prepares for such a fishing trip. He gathers bait and tackle, poles and nets. I like watching him work. Not because I'm lazy, but because it adds energy to my efforts. I know it's important to him. It makes it important to me.

At our first fishing location, and frankly, my first fishing trip in over fifteen years, I asked him to show me again how to bait a hook. I was almost embarrassed to have to ask. He was of course, very helpful and eager to show me the way. After all, if I caught fish, it was not only good for me, it was good for the whole family.
After two fruitless hours of fishing, we decided to move to a dam that was higher up in the mountains. I believe there are actually three such dams on that river and we decided to head to the very top. We cast off there for an hour more. It was quiet. Too quiet. I was in fact starting to think that perhaps the reports by the fish and game department had been fake. Dad had read that they had stocked it very well. So imagine all of our disappointment in seeing not even a nibble.
Finally my sister Auntie Em caught a fish. Quickly followed by my dad. We where ecstatic.

I was sitting on a rock a few yards up river from my fellow fishermen, and thought perhaps my lack of fish was due to my choice of casting location. Just then, a man dawning overalls and draped in tackle gear walked up to me. He was a nice local fisherman named Jim. A big grin cracked his face. He asked me if the fish where biting. I said no. He asked me what kind of bait I'd chosen. When I told him about the bait, he kindly responded that he thought I was using the wrong bait. He used that fishing hole, as he said, " all the time and never had a problem. " He also told me I was sitting on his favorite fishing rock. So, being the humble girl that I am, I asked what he was using for bait. I was almost freaked out to hear raw hamburger was a trout favorite. I knew my dad had some raw burger with him. Jim sat down next to me and cast off right next to where I was sitting. Literally within a minute, he had a large brown trout on the end of his line and was reeling it in. I said out loud, "I'm going to pretend I didn't see that." I was almost annoyed, but more excited than ever that the fish had a favorite bait...and that we had some of it. Within a few minutes, a greasy wad of raw hamburger in a Ziploc bag was next to me on the banks of the river...and collecting flies. Rather than shoo them away, I would capture the flies in the bag and mash them into the meat...making a gooey concoction of meat and fly carcass. It was my hope that this would indeed entice a fish to nibble.
Well folks, I'm happy to report that I did indeed catch a few fish. Dad and Auntie Em caught their limits. After eight hours of fishing, we returned home sunburned yet satisfied.

On the banks of another body of water two thousand years ago, the Lord commended his servants to become Fishers of Men. There are endless lessons of life that can be gathered from that reference. Fishers of Men don't catch men to lure them into death, but into peace, joy and life eternal. The bait isn't a trickery of what "tastes good" but what will truly satisfy the hungry soul. In becoming fishers of men, it isn't self serving, but on behalf of the Father. When we share the Truth it doesn't just benefit the one fisher, it benefits the entire human family. It requires humility, patience, time and energy. You may have to wait longer than you want. I for one, am glad that a few fishermen have gone before me, and know what works. The great fisherman and apostle Peter said, "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity." (2Peter 1:6-7)

May we all move forward in our great work wherever we are. May we find peace. May we share the Truth that sets all men free. On this day, the 4th of July, may we abide in the Liberty that makes us free, even the Lord. I am so thankful to have Christ in my life. It is the greatest joy I know. I'm thankful to live in a free nation and be able to practice my faith. God be thanked for the greatest liberty of all...spiritual liberty, and for the One who made that possible.
Happy Independence Day.


Gramee said...

I just returned from a very emotional fast meeting. So needless to say this
caused huge tears.
Thanks so much for your Sunday posts. I may not always comment but I always read.

You know I am one of your biggest fans..right??

love you!!

Chef Tess said...

Linda, yes. I know. I have to say thank you too. I'm so glad to have you around!

Mama Peck said...

Lovely post. My dad and I used to be fishin' buddies too. But, we fished off the pier in CA. Sweet memories. I also have a grandson who is currently a 'fisher of men' in the Nevada Las Vegas Mission so this message stirs tender thoughts. Love the sweetness of your generous spirit- you lift my heart. :)

mlebagley said...

This was such a beautiful day, all around! Thanks for sharing, and for loving your dad enough to go with such a great attitude. I loved what you said 'because its important to him its important to me'. That is what love is all about, eh? I love it! Thanks for the memories!