We went fishing last night – a perfect evening for sitting on the dock, fishing, and contemplating life. My pole was rigged with a bobber, so I only had to hold the pole and watch the bobber. Simple enough, but apparently you really need to pay attention to the bobber and make sure it isn’t playing peek-a-boo with you.
Sure enough, I actually focused on the bobber – or where it was supposed to be…it seemed to have taken up swimming under water. Fortunately, didn’t lose my bait, but lost the bite. This is a good time to admit that I like to fish with no bait – therefore I don’t have to pay attention. Fishing presents a perfect opportunity for soul chatting when your hook is without bait. I cast my line, and was rewarded with a huge backlash (comparable to the WORST ever case of yarn barf). I’m pretty sure my dad just about fell off his cloud in heaven laughing at me. Can’t blame the rod or the reel, definitely angler error!
The mess was overwhelming (like life can be at times), Bill handed me his pocket knife and told me to start cutting (like Jesus talking about pruning trees and vines to make them bear more fruit). Sigh….roll my eyes like a teenage girl….and mutter about no more fishing.
Then my soul resumed our chat (previously, we were discussing how peaceful the evening was)…”and exactly what are you going to do about this snarled, tangled mess?”
Me: “well, it’s going to take forever. I could just cut off all the line and buy a new spool.”
Soul: “Really? That’s all you got? You are going to be beaten by tangled fishing line? You really didn’t want anything to bite the bait anyway. We can still chat while you unravel.”
Me: “Bobber fishing doesn’t require active participation or much attention.”
Soul: “Unless you really want to catch something. Dare you to salvage this situation.”
Me: “No fair. You know I can’t resist a challenge.”
Soul: “Think about your life. Cut away the loose stuff. Pull the cut pieces away and get rid of them completely. Be patient – take time and pay attention to which line is the important one.”
Me: “But the sunset, and the breeze, and the evening sounds…”
Soul: “They are still present. Take breaks, look up and around. Feel and absorb the peace and beauty around you. That is what feeds me. Fill me up, and untangle the line.”
So, I did just that. Lost a minimum of line, and have a nice, tight spool ready to fish again.
Me: “Thank you. I needed that.”
Soul: “We are not done. That was just the beginning…”
Me: BIG sigh, and roll my eyes like a teenage girl.
This picture just warms my heart. Everything about this nourishes my soul. The man who loves me unconditionally (and is willing to take me fishing), the sounds of evening, the beauty of the sunset, the peaceful water, and the ability to sit silently together without words.
Grace Lesson: Take the time to unravel the tangles, cut away loose bits that don’t serve you well any more. See beyond the mess to the beauty and core that is there. Find the lines (people, places and things) that are important. Be patient, and remember to feed your soul.