I’m pretty laid back this week. Sunday, I attended the First Church of the Whispering Waters. It isn’t actually a church, it is more of a river. It isn’t actually the first, it is one of many.
OK, I went fishing instead of going to church.
Sometimes, church isn’t so much about where I go but what happens inside of me.
I caught quite a few fish on Sunday. That’s always fun. But I also went long stretches of time that were barren and filled with watching my line drift on the currents, hearing the sound of water rushing over rocks and standing in the shade of a mighty tree that had managed to stand by the river once more after a storm that had dislodged lesser trees and sent them hurtling downstream to rest in tangled masses of lumber.
I fished for hours in the company of a good friend. We laughed a lot. There was no real comedy, nothing coaxing laughter out of us, no jokes, no slapstick. There was just laughter that comes from two men standing in a cold river with the weight of life removed from their shoulders.
It was good laughter.
I don’t know, maybe sometimes church should be the sun shining on my neck, the water swirling around my legs and my mind’s biggest worry is being able to secure my fly to my line tying a knot with nearly invisible line.
I know I shouldn’t replace my place of worship with fishing. I need my church, sometimes desperately. But is church prepares me to face a world full of God and his glory, fishing shouldn’t be excluded. I headed to work yesterday, exhausted and worn out from the journey to the river, yet my soul was calm and ready for whatever came my way.
It is a good thing to feel ready, refreshed and restored. I think the real secret is, when going fishing, take God along. make him a part of the fun and allow him to laugh with me.
Job 12:7 “Just ask the animals, and they will teach you.
Ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you.
8 Speak to the earth, and it will instruct you.
Let the fish in the sea speak to you.”
Sometimes, spending my time out in the the world of nature teaches me things I don’t know at the time. Sometimes it just lets me see my world in a different way. Other times it just frees me, for a while, from the everyday life that becomes so dull and lifeless.
I have learned to find my place with God along still waters where he restores my soul, and sometimes those waters are teeming with nice trout.