Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Some Father-Son Time

Here's a picture of my 6-year old son with his fishing rod last night. (I apologize for the picture quality, but it was taken with the camera on my cell phone--not the best for difficult lighting.) We went fishing at a local lake from about 9 PM to midnight. I had recently gotten some new lures, and wanted to try them out. Most of my fishing experience has been with either cut bait or live bait, so lures are something new for me. I figured an evening with a 6-year old would be a perfect occasion for testing out some new lures. No squirming worms or wriggling minnows to disgust a little fishing newbie. Just Dad, Son, some fishing rods, and the night.

Before you ask, I'll tell you. We didn't catch a thing.

Actually, I didn't expect to catch anything. Not with my inexperience with fake bait, along with the fact that it was a new fishing spot for us, so we didn't know the best placest to cast our lines. I hoped to catch something, but wasn't really counting on it. For me, it was an evening of father-son time. And I got what I wanted.

For my son, things were a bit different. His 6-year old mind had probably concocted all kinds of scenarios where he would land a shark or whale or octopus or something really exciting out of Ruritan Lake. To catch nothing was a huge disappointment for him. He expected something more.

It occurs to me how similar it is with us and God sometimes. God just wants to spend time with us, teaching us and loving us. But we expect something else. We're looking forward to some "religious" experience that leaves us with that tingling feeling all over. Some "I saw the light" experience that will transform us from fishers of minnows into fishers of men. And we're disappointed when our time of worship at church, or our devotion time at home, is lackluster. Sometimes we're like my son, who pouted a bit about not getting what he expected out of the experience. I imagine God in the same position I was in last night, saying, "But I thought it was all about just being together, you and me."

Which really is what it's all about.

When he woke up this morning, my son gave me a huge hug and thanked me for taking hiim fishing last night. It took him all night to figure it out in his sleep, but he really was glad that we just had the time to spend together.

May we figure out the same thing that my 6-year old now knows.

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