I went on a fishing trip adventure recently with some guys…over to the Potholes in Eastern Washington. We had a great time…really an enjoyable time full of fun and good food and laughter.
Now, I am not a fisherman. I caught a trout once when I was 8 years old and really haven’t fished much since then. One of the guys in our group, Gary, let me borrow a fishing pole and got it ready: he strung the line and then put weights on the lead and a nice three-barbed lure at the end. Then I was off in my little pontoon thingamajig rowing and casting and trolling. And soon, I caught a trout…wahoo! Then, shortly afterwards, I’m not sure how, I fouled my line – so bad that I couldn’t get it untangled. I was completely flummoxed.
“No worries,” Gary said patiently. “We’ll get you fixed up.”
He then transformed the mess back to where I could cast and troll and catch again.
Whew! The next morning, sitting in the warmth of the rising sun, holding a steaming cup of coffee while staring languidly at the basalt cliffs before me, I contemplated my experience of the day before. I realized I can very easily “foul up” my life as badly as my fishing line. And not even be sure how I did it! Worry, stress, resentment, bitterness and even malice can create a tangle of relationships that keep me from functioning with joy and adventure.
How about you? It’s so easy to get “fouled up,” isn’t it? I guess we’re all in that same boat.
Fortunately, our loving Lord is always ready and willing to say, “No worries…I can help get you fixed up…transformed in your thinking so you can function in your relationships with love and peace and graciousness.” The apostle Paul put it well in Romans 12: “Don’t be conformed to this world (fouled up) but be transformed by the renewing of your mind to live out God’s will (his desire for us to genuinely love one another).”
Just as I brought my fishing pole to Gary, we can bring our lives every day to Jesus. And, with patience and skill, he can untangle even the most difficult of messes. Now that is an enjoyable adventure far better even than fishing the Potholes! I want to be a part of that joyous adventure daily – and I hope you do as well!
Jim Thoburn writes from Community Presbyterian in Buckley.