I used to love going fishing with my dad.
That may surprise some people who know me, because I don’t think I really come across as a “roughing it out in the wild” kind of a girl.
But that’s exactly what we’d do. We would go to these remote lakes, and camp out in the middle of nowhere. We’d canoe, and we’d fish. And I loved it.
I loved the lake, the trees, and floating around all day in the peace and quiet. I loved talking with my dad about anything and everything.
And then sometimes, all of this peace and quiet would be put on hold for a little while, as we faced the excitement of catching a fish.
I love that rush that comes when your fishing line starts yanking like crazy and everybody gets all worked up, and the adrenaline starts flowing, and it’s this big moment.
(I do not like anything that happens after the fish comes out of the water. You could not pay me to touch a fish. Enjoyment stops after the thrill of the chase.)
Anyway. After all the excitement of catching the fish, my sisters and I would name the fish – starting with “A” and working our way through the alphabet. Amelia, Betsy, Caroline, etc.
And then we would go back to the peace and quiet of floating. Enjoying the day and the nature and the quiet.
You could almost say that I loved the act of fishing more than actually catching anything…
Sometimes we think that fishing is about catching fish. But you can go out for a day of fishing, and enjoy fishing, even if you go home without catching any fish. Obviously, you’d like to catch fish, and that’s kind of the point, but it is completely possible to spend an enjoyable day of fishing without catching any fish. It kind of depends on your attitude.
I once read that praying is like fishing.
Sometimes we think praying is about getting answers to our prayers. But you can spend time talking to God, and enjoy praying, even if you don’t end up getting an answer right away. Obviously, you’d like to get answers to your prayers, but it is completely possible to spend an enjoyable time talking to God without getting an actual and immediate answer to your prayers. It kind of depends on your attitude…
I read that prayer is actually all about waiting – learning to wait on God, and learning to just enjoy being in His presence, learning to enjoy the act of praying.
This waiting thing is a hard one for me sometimes. I am capable of focusing on something so intensely that the impatience builds and builds until it feels like I’ll explode because I can’t stand waiting for one more second.
Obviously, my focus is not in the right place when that happens.
And I’m noticing a pattern in my life – I’m noticing that the act of waiting for things, and waiting for answers to my prayers, is happening a lot.
When I was single, but wanting to get married and have kids, I had to wait awhile. After Ben and I got married, there were many other kinds of things to wait for. We had to wait for God to work out the details for a ministry opportunity that we really wanted. We had to wait 9 months for Anika to be born. We had to wait for God to provide in a number of different ways. And then we dealt with infertility, and had to wait for 4 years for Kaylia to come along. And I thought that I wouldn’t survive. I thought that if God would ask me to wait one day longer for a baby, I would go completely crazy.
There are times in my life when I have just plain hated waiting.
But I’ve also read that life is about waiting. We are always waiting for something.
So if life is about waiting, and prayer is about waiting, it would seem as though I need to learn to enjoy…WAITING.
If I can enjoy floating, water, sky and trees, the peace and quiet, the getting-away-from-it-all, can I learn to surrender, soaking in God’s presence, a sense of His Spirit, a trust that while there is more to come, that right now, there is something for me to enjoy, just in waiting?