I have a predictable pattern of abiding. I often seek renewal outside, standing in water, with line and a fly extended from my hand.
Friday was an abiding day. This was a day longed for in the midst of a busy working season. Even with more than 10,000 hours of practice notched on my fishing belt, on this day all I had to show for my efforts was an empty net.
Days like these cause me to pause and ask a few questions:
Was it my choice of flies or equipment?
Was it me?
What do I need to change?
Even though I tried nymphs, emergers, terrestrials … even though I changed up my rig and tippet on multiple occasions – approaches that worked well in the past were no longer working.
The signs and indicators of a change of season were obvious and abundant. Yet, it is a common tendency to rely too long on favorite flies, strategies, or tactics from a previous season. As much as I like fishing, the purpose of fishing is catching! In particular for me – it is catching and releasing!
There is a 1965 rock song by The Byrds with the lyrics:
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
While you may remember the song, it is more important to recognize that the source of the lyrics is Ecclesiastes, the Old Testament book of lament.
I am thankful for this song’s refrain of turn, turn, turn. They seem to point forward to Jesus’ words at the start of the gospel of Mark that:
15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
In this New Testament vision statement from the Messiah, Jesus tells us that a new season and time has come. An invitation is extended to hear God’s voice and to Repent (to Turn, to change direction) and to Believe (to move forward in faith) living the good news!
The season has changed! A new time has come! I am seeking to turn and move forward in faith, confident in what we hope for and assured of what we do not yet see. I am reminded that this is what the ancients were commended for.
I am thankful for a predictable pattern of abiding!
I am thankful for an empty net that caused me to pause!
I am thankful for the Ecclesiastes reminder that:
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.