Our church congregation began a new sermon series this week and have embarked on a look at the Gospel of John. The series has been titled “A Beautiful Life”.
I can imaging from a non-believers perspective the title may sound cliché and maybe even a little naive. But, coming from a family who are experiencing the heartaches and joys of raising a special needs child, being able to say that we have “A Beautiful Life” does not just happen. It is the total sum of all of our experiences, including pain, rejection, worry, mis-understanding and joy, miracles and being able to see the very fingerprints of God in situations and events.
I am convinced that the more we experience trials the more we can clearly see the joys and are able to be blessed as a family and individually. This is the very thing that our pastor spoke about in the area of faith. Faith in the form of a verb, or action and not as a noun, or thing.
It is no secret that I enjoy the outdoors and especially fishing…so it should be no surprise that I am going to share a quote from a book about fishing and faith.
One reason Paul caught more fish than anyone else was that he had his flies in the water more than anyone else. “Brother,” he would say, “there are no flying fish in Montana. Out here, you can’t catch fish with your flies in the air.” Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It
I think that Matthew may have an upper hand at fishing even though he has never picked up a fishing pole in his life. We who are not “challenged” tend to over complicate things and make things harder than they need to be. If we spent more time with “our flies in the water” and not focusing on our form or technique or how good we look doing it we would have more fun and get a lot more accomplished. The same is true of our faith.
Matthew will look at something he is interested in, absorb everything about it, lick it if necessary and then take action. The pictures throughout this posting are of Matthew observing then taking action doing it. He could hardly contain himself in line waiting for the rides at one of our recent fairs. Bowling, not problem…in fact, how about a stroll down the bowling lane to take a look at how that bar thing works and almost taking a ride with it. Yes, he may put himself in dangerous situations and constantly tests our prayer life but I wouldn’t change a thing.
He gives us inspiration and causes us to take risks…to step out from the comfort of our safety and test the water.
Where are your flies? Are you constantly repositioning them, swaying them back and forth in perfect form but never letting them land on the water? Are you afraid of what you may catch?
My challenge for this week is to let my flies land, take up the slack and hang on for dear life.