Thursday, August 08, 2013

In the Deep

Today my father-in-law treated us to a deep sea fishing adventure. We rose early with much anticipation. The weather was remarkable--blue skies, warm sun and perfect breeze. It was a recipe for family adventure and memory making.
There were moments of sheer exhilaration--a school of dolphin, whale sightings, feeding a pack of pelicans and, of course, landing some great fish. We have fantastic snapshots of the slices of the day most worth commemorating, but they only tell part of the story.

My friend Jessica told me about a sermon she once heard urging listeners to get beyond a 'snapshot' view of life. God didn't create us to be scrapbook pages. No, real life is best viewed as a movie. One clip cannot convey the plot. You must stick around through the twists and turns to see how everything ends up in the final credits. Along the way, there are moments of struggle, success, failure, wonder and even boredom. Such was the case of our adventure today.

For every memorable moment there were 20 mundane ones. Four of us fought seasickness--for hours--despite medication. Yet occasionally there'd be a shout of "whale," "dolphin," or "we've got one" and we'd rally.

There were long stretches of no action interrupted by bursts of hard work. Our first marlin was reeled in by my father-in-law who virtually collapsed once it was boated.

The second marlin was mine--despite my best intentions I simply did not have the strength or stamina to handle it alone.
(I was not grinning here. I was gritting my teeth. I have a new appreciation for fishermen. Wow. So much harder than it looks!)

I was grateful for the partnership of my husband--who despite LOVING fishing spent the whole day making the rest of us successful at reeling them in.

I also marveled at the boat captain and his assistant who guided us to the best spots and did the majority of the work behind the scenes to insure we had a great day--yet whenever a fish hit on a line they immediately passed the rod to one of us to close the deal. We got to feel the exhilaration of the payoff despite the fact they'd completely set us up to be successful.

When the boat pulled back in at the marina we were sweaty, seasick, and smelly--but we had supper and memories for days. And I was grateful that my first (and likely last--I don't enjoy nausea) deep sea fishing trip had reminded me of a few facts of life.

Creation is astounding! From the morning's sunrise to the massive whales, peaceful dolphins, shiny mahi mahi, amazing flying fish, expansive sea...there is no denying intelligent design. When the vastness of God's world is considered, it is incredible to believe He really cares for us.

I was also reminded that real life is unpredictable. Thrills one minute, mundane another. Sometimes we are pushed beyond our limits--and find ourselves grateful for our traveling companions. Other times we stand amazed by the way God 'shows up and shows off.' Still others we feel washed out and unable to do much else than rest.

In the end, He has promised, we will emerge victorious. We just have to hold on and hang in there. Now we are off to fill our bellies with the day's provision. (I just hope my very typical nine year olds will try it. )

No comments: