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I must have been about 7 years old when I rode in Daddy’s red Ford truck over to the Little River to fish off the train tracks.  He used corn right out of the can for bait.  I mostly ate the corn and asked a lot of questions.  Daddy shushed me and showed me over and over how to hold the pole and how to reel the line, the Daffy Duck tattoo on his forearm moving funny when he pulled back on the rod .  I kept casting into the mess of brush over on the river banks.  He kept having to stop and untangle me.  He never complained and he didn’t talk much.  He was bringing me into his world, not making a false world that centered on me.   The gift was time with him.  Yet, it was so ordinary and unassuming.  It didn’t look like much of a gift at the time. It seemed a little boring, hot, and pointless.  That is until we finally caught a fish.   Then, I remembered why we were there.  The goal was to catch fish, despite the fact that I always wanted to somehow make the day about me and how much progress I was making at becoming a fisherman.

There are so many lessons there, for Lent and for everyday.

The Father wants to give us the gift of Himself, if we would but sit quiet and listen and learn.  This is not about us.  This is about Him and how much He loves us and how willing He is to share His life with us.  And the goal?  To make us fishers of men.  To help us focus on something besides ourselves, which is a most monumental task because our self-importance does not die easy. Not without a fight to the very death. But even as our death to sin is a pretend death—because tomorrow it will rear its ugly  in our lives again, in Christ there is real death to, and for sin –His death for us and His life for us. That’s Lent. (via Todd Wilken)

The season of Lent comes around every year to discipline us, to sharpen us, to make us warriors, to make us fishermen—but mostly to remind us that Christ’s cry from the cross, “It is finished,”  has never been more true.  It is finished.  Real death has been conquered, salvation has been won.  You have been made his child and there’s is nothing left to work for, nothing left to do. He’s done everything to bring you home. Your needs have all been met in Him.

So, if Lent is about Him and his perfect sacrifice, then why are we fishing again?

Because Lent points us away from ourselves toward Christ and toward our neighbor.

Lent is not about you, it’s about Him and him.

Your neighbor has needs like you can’t imagine.  His life is falling apart just like yours, but without the lifeboat of Christ.  He’s hungry, hopeless, sick, dying, or maybe just as self-obsessed as the rest of us.  He has never felt so desperate.  He has never been so alone.  But, you and I have  failed to see him because we are so entangled in our own appetites.  We are so worried about our own bank accounts, our own stomachs, or even our own spirituality.  We are busy chasing our own noble dreams, perhaps even doing things for God.  But, we’ve forgotten that God doesn’t need anything from us—that all we bring to the table is sin and greed and selfishness.  Lent reminds us that He doesn’t need us, but he has placed a plethora of people in our lives who do.

And maybe when the fog of our appetites and our obsessions slowly starts to fade, we can see more clearly why we are here what we’ve been placed here to do.  We can take baby steps to start living our lives in service of those whose needs are more pressing than ever—the people in your life like your husband, your children, your boss, and the widow that sits next to you at church.

It’s easy for Lent to become an exercise in how disciplined we’re becoming or how contrite we are for our sin.  We will twist anything into a self-fest, or at least I will.

The reason we want to practice self-discipline is actually not for ourselves—it’s for our neighbor, so that all of the things that keep us in bondage, the things that keep us from rightly serving our people can be stripped away.

May this Lenten season turn our eyes outward—to a Father who loves us so much that He will freely give us all things and teach us, however slowly and however painfully,  to be fishers of men.

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A big thank you to Jennifer, from the Old Painted Cottage, for featuring our lake house as her cottage of the month!

And a shout out to my friends, Heather and Angela, on their newly launched blog, called Sports Mom Survival Guide! They’re giving away an Amazon gift card today for $100.  Happy Launch ladies!

 

29 comments on “Fishing with Daddy”

  1. This post was written just for me. It is an echo of our sermon yesterday about how God pursues humanity out of his deep love for us. The value of something is measured by the sacrifice made to obtain it, (paraphrased). God pursues us through Jesus and through others. As a believer, we pursue others in response to and out of gratitude that a loving God has pursued us. Thanks for writing this, our hearts seem to be in the same place lately.

  2. thank you. i am longing for that quiet. ever since i moved to a city i have struggled to recreate a small world of calm and quiet by trying to live in my small town way. seemingly impossible. the effort wore me down to a place of dark and invisibility and i am just now seeing some light. the constant striving and comparing to be noticed is so unnecessary when love and acceptance are already present. being still and quiet allows you to focus outward and notice people around you; enables you to meet those small needs that can be so life sustaining. for me, being somewhat of an introvert, it is always about the little things. thank you for this reminder.

  3. Wow…how I needed to hear that today! God has gifted you with an amazing ability to write words that can touch our hearts.
    Thank you for sharing our site today!!
    xxoo,
    Angela

  4. Will friends and readers here please pray for faith and repentance in my life; for an open and humble heart to receive the life of the Father and see it as more desirable than anything? Thanks.

    • Yes, I will pray for you everyday in Lent, Kathryn. He is a gracious God who wants to give us the good gifts of His spirit. Bless you. We are with you, lifting you up to His grace and love.
      Sending you hugs,
      edie

      • Yes Edie, please do. Please plead that He will help me accept and love Him and be enthralled by Him. That where I’ve hardened myself He will soften

    • hi, kathryn –
      i have prayed for you and everyone else. may you (we) all see and receive the blessings that God has for you (us)!

      hi, edie –
      you have a wonderful way with words, especially when it comes to faith-based living. thank you for sharing all that. this post brought back so many happy memories for me about how my parents let me into their worlds, their lives and how all my family continues to do that … i am blessed and grateful.

      kathy

  5. You are just amazing with your words. I have been so blessed by your blog. I have more ‘Edie’ quotes in my house! I’m going to have enough to wallpaper a wall soon! Ha!
    Thank you!

  6. I just thought I would share how much over the last few years I have so appreciated you sharing about lent. Having grown up Catholic I “liked” lent. I “got it” the build up to Easter, it was much more meaningful. As an adult I have never been in a church that practiced Lent, and I feel Easter had lost some of its anticipation. So for that last few years thanks in part to what I have read here I have been practicing lent. I hope over the next 40 days you will continue to stay focus on this. Thank you.

  7. Beautifully written, Edie. Although your message was brilliantly quiet, it came across loud and clear. Such elegance. Thank you.
    Cheri~

  8. Ms. Edie~ This was one of the most beautiful posts you’ve ever written; clear and simple, yet so packed with meaning. I loved it. Thank you for these words today.

  9. Dear Edie, I just discovered your blog today by way of “Cottage of the Month”. I love your home. The colors you have chosen, the patterns you use present a feeling of warmth, love, fun, and care. Your blog has been added to my bookmarks. Your story of fishing with your daddy remind me of the fishing I too did with my daddy. We would go every weekend, weather permitting. My father taught me to fish which lead to my love of the ocean. At first it was the fishing, the excitement of catching a fish. I had my own rod and reel which for an eight year old girl was extra special. He taught me how to bait my hook which lead to a self confidence I had never had before. He instilled the love of life in me, despite the abusive life that I lead without his knowing. I then realized even if we did not catch a fish, I felt blessed just to be in his presence. My daddy did not say “I love you Janet”, he showed me in all that he said and did, in the smile he often gave which I feel came directly from his genuine soul. I was blessed to have him in my life for 48 years. His kindness and giving of himself to me and everyone he met amazed me all of my life. I still have his fishing rod and reel, his tackle box right beside mine. I would never let a day go by without telling him how much I loved him and that he was the best daddy anyone could ever have. He was admitted to a Hospice where I did volunteer work. The hospital is directly waterfront and his bed looked out to the pier. We were once again joined together by the ocean. One morning when I arrived to see him, he spoke of seeing a fisherman on the pier the night before. It was the end of January, here up north, and snowing. I believe this was God’s last gift to him in this life. In my life with daddy, His gift of allowing me to hold daddy’s hand, tell him yet again how much I loved him as I sat holding his hand while he peacefully passed away. Thank you Edie. You brought back wonderful,comforting memories. Janet A.

  10. I love this. I am blow away by your words. I want this to be not just my Lenten mission, but my life mission. I am always so inspired by you and your life. Thank you for being real.

  11. I absolutely love your site.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you create this amazing site yourself?
    Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my very own
    blog and would love to know where you got this from or what the
    theme is called. Many thanks!

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  13. I just “shazamed” Just Fishin’ by Trace Adkins this morning, it brings me straight to tears every time. Now it will also hold the much needed reminder to be selfless to others outside of my immediate circle!

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