It had been awhile since I had landed one. A rainbow trout. Beautiful and delicious. I was salivating for such a meal that night.
Recent floods had changed the whole landscape.
My favorite fishing hole used to have huge boulders in the middle, where fish could hide out from predators and wait for bait to float by. I don’t know where those boulders are now. Downstream in one form or another.
Perhaps whole. Perhaps broken into pieces.
So I had to walk upstream. Way upstream. Against strong current. Searching for another pool where fish could find respite from the flow and focus their energies on the most attractive bait.
I was tired by the time I found that pool. But find it, I did. And fish it, I did.
That’s where I hooked what would have been a feast of a meal. Would have been… except for the rock that broke my line.
I could see the fish in deep water. Hopelessly (or hopefully) hooked. Depending on your point of view. It (he or she?) was swirling back and forth, held fast by my hook and line.
Which was also held fast by a rock. Between me and the fish.
I walked back and forth on the shore, trying to dislodge the small weight I, myself, had placed on my line. A fishing aid to help the bait sink in deep water.
A fishing aid that had become an adversary.
I finally pulled the line. Gently… or so I thought. The line snapped. The fish was gone. Along with my hopes for that feast.
There I stood on the riverbank. Wallowing in my disappointment. And You spoke to me, Lord. So clearly I almost turned my head. Thinking I might actually see you there, with my own eyes.
Instead, I saw You with spiritual eyes. And heard You with spiritual ears. As You asked so many things…
How are today’s floods changing the landscape?
What does this mean for you, My Daughter, as you fish for people?
How far will you be willing to go, even against strong currents, to find the fish who hunger for Me?
What respite are you providing to fish caught in those currents?
When, by My Grace, you hook one… what obstacles might still get in the way?
What keeps you on the shore, addressing those obstacles (unsuccessfully) from afar?
Will you come into deep water with Me, to confront those obstacles up-close?
What will you risk to bring in this priceless catch for Me?
That fish swam away with my hook in its mouth. A reminder of our brief encounter. Will it degrade and eventually disappear with the forces of nature? Or is it perfectly positioned, ready to be engaged again…
… when The Great Fisherman appears?
I didn’t have fish for dinner that night. But this Food for Thought — when thought becomes deed — will sustain me for the rest of my fishing days this side of Heaven.
Won’t it, Lord?