I am not a fisherman.
There are probably lots of reasons why: smell, fish guts, hooks in fingers and so forth. However, probably the biggest reason is that I like my work.
I love to research and write sermons, blogs and devotions. I like to spend time in the office visiting with whoever comes by. Yes, I even like meetings at least those at my church. I enjoy visiting with people in assisted living facilities, nursing homes and at home.
I am gifted to be in a profession where a good part of my official duties is to think about, contemplate and pray to God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
I thought fishing took me away from all that and just takes up too much time.
At the same time, our 12-year-old son, Matt, likes to fish and wants to learn more about it. What am I to do?
I also am gifted to be part of a church family. We have several read lots of men and women who love to fish and are good teachers. So Matt gets to go fishing. Sometimes, they even drag Dad along. That is what happened last week.
Some of the folks from church took Matt up to Molas Lake to fish for trout on Friday. It must be one of the most beautiful places in the world. It just has to be. You will get no argument from me about that.
As I remember it, during some part of the day, one of the guys, Jack, pointed the beauty out. I said something to the effect that as nice as it was I was missing work. Jack asked, What would you be doing?
I said, I would be at my laptop contemplating God. I thought, So, there you cant argue with that one.
Then I looked around me: The mountains some still with white snow clinging to them, the beautiful blue lake, the incredible trees, the sun and the crisp mountain wind.
I was a part of a half-a-dozen good friends constantly laughing, and the whole group caring for and showing my son Christian love in real ways (including teasing). I relished the joy on Matts face as he reeled in a big one. And certainly enjoyed an all too rare moment when my wife, Kim, and I were able to go off by ourselves, and remember and talk about a special time in our wacky courtship.
I instantly thought, OK, bad answer. Contemplate God only at my keyboard? Look around!
The Lord God made this beautiful area in which we live and have easy access to nearly endless wonders. God also has given us the sense and wherewithal to take care of it.
The Lord God gave us each other, our church families, and the people surrounding us in our congregations. Matt (and his brother Chuck, who is off at school) have two pretty good parents, a wonderful grandma, some terrific relations, and they are surrounded by lots of people who love them. The other day, one of our teenagers said something about her grandma not being able to make an event or something. I said to her, You know, you have a whole church full of grandmas. She just nodded with a big smile on her face.
The Lord God has given us these incredible minds of ours so we can remember our special times with our loved ones. During our fishing trip, we were remembering and sharing memories of loved ones, and special days that happened decades ago.
I could go on all day about the incredible gifts of the Lord God.
Best of all, the Lord God has given us his beloved son through whom all is made, all our hope resides, and all beauty is perfectly revealed. The one in whom Gods fullness resides, Jesus Christ, is with us in our tough times, and even makes hard-headed workaholics appreciate His wonders and greatness even if there is no laptop around.
The Rev. Steve Nofel is co-pastor of Montezuma Valley Presbyterian Church.