Growing up my dad and brothers loved to go fishing. We would gather up a bunch of worms, get a few cans of corn, load up a bunch of fishing poles and go to a creek, a pond, the beach or anywhere we could wet a hook. We did it for sport and rarely ever had to keep anything we caught, we used the proper equipment to be able to catch and release. Just as many of my friends hunted with their dads, we instead choose to fish. We fished in the fall and spring mostly when the weather was good and it wasn’t so hot or cold.
One main life lesson I learned from my good old dad was patience. I remember going to a pond and my dad would bait his hook, cast the line in and just sit and wait. Sometimes for hours until something bit the line, took off and bent that pole. He might reel it in on occasion to check the bait and make sure it was still good since the little “bait stealers” which are small fish that just nip at the bait until it falls off would eventually leave you with an empty hook. My brothers and I would try every jig in the tackle box and change out rods every so often. We would walk around the pond trying to find that perfect fish or hole. Dad would just chill and sit there and wait.
Dad just sat there and waited for the right moment, the right fish and then he would secure it and reel it in. We would watch him catch fish and we just couldn’t keep up with him on how many we caught. Every now and then we would get lucky and out fish dad, but very rarely did that happen. You see my dad was a patient man that had a goal that was to relax, enjoy fishing and reap the benefits of catching the big ones. That is what we all want in life is to catch the big one right. I also think he just wanted to spend time with his boys and teach us life lessons along the way.
In the bible Luke talks about the fishermen that had toiled all night and had no luck. They were tired and weary and came to shore frustrated like my brothers and I would be after a long day at the lake. I do not know for sure, but my guess is that they put the nets in, pulled them out, moved around and repeated the process trying to secure that big fish. All to no avail and then Jesus tells them to go cast into deep water, have faith and wait.
They get a boat load of fish to feed everyone, so many that it started to tear the nets. This story from the bible is kind of how it was going with my dad. As I said my brothers and I would walk, cast, change baits, change poles, chase the fish we could see swimming and we would get a few here and there. My dad would cast his line into the deepest part of the pond, river or creek and wham a while later there was that big bass, trout or catfish on his pole. He showed that patience and faith in the process worked and that we do not have to chase everything in life, sometimes we have to let it come to us.
I am much more patient now as I had reached mid life and am so grateful for my dad and his example of being patient and waiting for something good to happen. Jesus taught us that also, cast your nets into the deep and wait for it. My dad was a great man that loved helping people and serving his community. He wanted to make fishers of men as Jesus instructed us to do in the bible. My dad had faith, patience and an understanding that we did not have as youngsters. He taught us to wait, sit tight and see what happened. I wish my dad was here to go fishing one more time, but I can take his example and spirit with me on my next trip to a pond, river, lake or creek. I can hope that I can be a fisher of men as well and help people to know that God is the ultimate cast, catch and big one we need to haul in!