My son has fond memories of fishing with his Uncle John. Our home in Alabama was built beside a seven-acre lake stocked with large-mouth bass, bream and catfish. They would spend afternoons walking around the lake looking for the right spot. It wasn’t all fun and games for my brother trying to rein in nine-year-old Josh while waiting for a fish to grab the bait. Josh often cared more about eating snacks than fishing!
Josh now shares his love of the sport with his son. Together they stand along the bank of a small neighborhood pond, teasing bream with bread-laden hooks. The fish bite, providing excitement for Cayden. Sometimes they don’t and all that is accomplished is they get rid of a bag of stale bread. Fish aren’t the only things threaded on the stringer; they are weaving memories of father-son times, memories that won’t be lost or stolen.
I’ve been told fishing is not about the catching, but the fishing—the process one goes through to bring in a mess of fish. Life lessons are dangled on the hook along with bread, kernels of corn or fat, juicy worms: patience, planning, and partnership.
Standing on a creek bank with a fishing pole isn’t a big deal for most people. But for Josh, it’s a really big deal. He’s living his dream of sharing a creek bank with his son, teaching him life lessons and the art of catching a fish—or not. There was a time when that didn’t seem possible because of his addiction. But, the promises I claimed over two years ago in Jeremiah 30 and 31 are unfolding before my eyes—one day at a time. Josh and his family are being restored.
Perhaps you have an addicted loved one in your life, maybe he or she was your fishing buddy, but alcohol and drugs got in the way and it’s only a memory—good or bad. I encourage you to not lose the memory, use it as a way to leverage a return to that time when relationships were better and safe. Don’t lay your pole aside.
The blue sky is speckled with white puffy clouds, a gentle breeze whispers through the live oak trees, and fish are waiting to be fed. Grab your pole and let’s go fishin’.
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