Years ago, and I mean like twenty years ago, I thought I would enjoy fly fishing – so I went out and bought a rod and reel from the Orvis dealer (my favorite store to this day) and eventually added three more various size rod and reel combinations to my collection. I used to go out and try to catch stuff in the surf off the beach in Ft. Lauderdale; and tried here and there to catch fish in ponds and lakes.
Admittedly, I was never very good at fishing and so I decided that I would devote myself to tying flies – whether they ever got used or not is a totally different story. And soon, I found that I had a knack for tying – only I enjoyed making “fish hook art” much more than I enjoyed creating stuff to fool the fish. I actually set up guidelines for what I would make and there are friends to this day who still have pieces of art that I made quite a few years ago. Eventually, I started tying flies but never had any luck actually fishing with the stuff I made.
It’s been a long time since I have tied any flies. Fast forward to several months ago and our decision to join Janet’s sister and her husband on their Montana trip. Randy really made a point of wanting me to go trout fishing with him so I broke out the old gear, had new line installed on the reels and starting practicing in the back yard. It is much more difficult that I remember it – and suffice it to say that while Randy caught a few trout in Montana, I got skunked. Of course, I am used to that and come to think of it, I don’t know if I have ever caught a fish on a fly I tied – until last Sunday evening.
We had just finished dinner with Andrew, on his birthday, and he wanted to go out and practice casting a fly rod. I brought out the gear and we spent some time together working on it. Then, I decided to cast a few into the lake and had to make a decision as to what I would tie on the leader. I started thinking about what would look the most like a real fish and tied on the appropriate fly. The fly barely hit the water and… bam! I had a nice sized blue gill on the line. Then Andrew caught several, and I added a few more to my total. In less than fifteen minutes we had caught 5 rather good size panfish.
And with each cast, I grew more confident and realized that it was the first time that I had ever caught anything on something I “created” – and more than 20 years ago at that! I hate to sound overly excited, but it felt really good – a sense of accomplishment. Of course, we released all the fish we caught so they would be available again some other day.
I got to thinking about God and how sometimes we go for the “shiny” thing that isn’t real – and that’s the way Satan “baits” us. We settle for something that looks like the real thing – but isn’t. And then, just like the fish going after the imitation, we are hooked. The big problem is that Satan doesn’t believe in “catch and release.” He is committed to hooking us and making sure we stay under his influence. That’s not what God wants for us – He has something much better in mind, the real deal, for those who follow Him.
The verse for this evening is from 1 John 2:27, “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.” In other words, wait for the real deal and then don’t let go. My encouragement this evening is that God is the real thing – and He is actively pursuing you! My prayer is that you will never settle for the imitation – it’s just not worth it – and by the way, it would be an eternal mistake – separating you from God forever. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…