A couple weeks ago I took my 10 year old daughter to a Tennessee Titans NFL game. I sent my buddy, Tony, a picture and he said, “She thinks you’re just fishing.” His comment was a reference to a country song, “Just Fishin” by Trace Adkins. The song tells the story of a father taking his little girl fishing and, while she thinks they’re just “drownin’ worms and killin’ time” he appreciates that there is more at work, they are strengthening bonds and making memories.
I love my Titans but the time I spent with my little girl that day was bigger than watching Derrick Henry break off a 75 yard run to put the game out of reach. We were strengthening our relationship while sharing the majesty of a Titans win.
My father in law got me addicted to fishing and now that passion runs deep in our family. My teenage son and I often fish together. When we get out there in a stream there are no discussions about household issues, we just enjoy the experience and each other’s company. He thinks we’re just fishin’ but we’re also investing in our relationship.
My Dad and I get along great, but we had some rocky years early on and there may be old scars from that but now-a-days, we go fishin’. We usually don’t talk much as we wade down a small river, reeling in feisty smallmouth or largemouth lunkers. We’re just fishin’ and we are content to be together. I purposely try to appreciate the moments when we’re out there and understand that it’s more than fishing although I doubt my kids have that perspective. I’m sure my Dad does.
I’m thinking that I might be like my kids when I take the time to get into God’s presence, potentially unaware of the significance of what is going on. Maybe when I actually press in and engage God says, “He thinks he’s just praying” or “He thinks he’s just singing” but something much bigger is happening. I’m also being transformed, strengthened and renewed. Spiritual warfare is taking place and things are being overcome spiritually that can only be handled while I’m with Him. Maybe those are the times when I’m most receptive to hearing instruction or encouragement.
While I’m thinking, “I’m just going to church”, I’m actually reassuring my wife that my priorities are in order. I’m showing my children how a husband and father should act so my sons know how to lead and my daughters know what to expect from a Godly man.
As it turns out, there is often more going on than the activity of the moment suggests. I appreciate all the other stuff that’s happening but I am also forever grateful to be “just fishin.”