Thursday, April 1, 2010


It was already late in the morning but the breeze was still quite cool. I wore my comfortable old plaid sleeveless insulated vest as I headed out on the small lake. I had hopes of enticing a fish or two to attack a spinner bait, of one sort or another, that I repeatedly flipped toward the earthen dam and along the southern lakeshore.

The fish proved to be as uninterested as they had been the previous two days. Not a big deal. I was fishing for the fun of it. Just being out there was reward enough. We had plenty enough food in the camper, our little rolling cottage. Sure. There’s always something about that anticipated jerk on the rod when a sassy bass tries to demolish a lure. Fish on the line or not, it was alright.

A group of Boy Scouts, I counted twelve of them, were side by side on the fishing pier casting their lines. They were a well behaved group of boys around the campsite. Here, on the pier, their adult leaders were out of ear shot and they carried on some foolishness amongst themselves. Occasionally one of the older scouts had to remind someone to watch their language. I found that to be a little humorous. Why? I’m not sure. It just was.

My own fishing gradually took me far enough away from the pier that the sounds of the water lapping against the boat and the wind whistling in the pines pretty well drowned out the boy-noise coming from the pier. What I could hear from the pier was easy enough to ignore. I put my rod down and dug a Gideon Testament out of my inside vest pocket. With the water lapping the side and bottom of the aluminum jon-boat, the wind whistling in the pines, and the sounds of woodpeckers going about their hole-making in the surrounding forest, I read Psalm 19.

I read it quietly but aloud as a prayer. And, just like so many other times that I’ve read it, I couldn’t help but to wonder why. Why? With all of creation declaring the glory of God, why do so many fail to sense God’s closeness and care? I couldn’t help but to wonder why I can so often be so dense and unreceptive to God’s presence. I couldn’t help but to think how often the words of my mouth and meditations of my heart betray my profession of faith.

My thoughts arrested me. For a few minutes I simply sat there unable to think about fishing.