Monday, May 05, 2008

Hearing from God about fly fishing.

The days here in Hilton Head have been marvelous. Beautiful days of a light breezes, and little humidity for this place. Glorious weather to sit on the beach, take bike rides, and enjoy the peaceful life that greets us each day.


I decided to bring my fly rod here to South Carolina. Unsure of what to fish for, never doing it out here. Just hopeful. The other night I woke up at 2 a.m. I am not like this kind of person, casually waking. Going in for some coffee and a read. But, I just knew there was something I was supposed to be up for. God stirring something. I am starting to learn the difference between, I can’t sleep. And God is wanting to speak to me. Something in the spirit. I knew, or at least had this feeling it was that.

And so I woke up.

And before long, I heard… “Go fish.”

I found it quite odd. It was late. Dark. Nothing moving outside. But I grabbed my fly rod, put on the fly I had made the day before, and went to the back porch, and down to the water way just 10 yards from the backyard. And I fished. In my head, I am thinking, I am fishing because God wants me to. I am thinking one thing. A big one. Something is out in that river that is going to be large. And so, I had naturally grabbed my net. God wants to wake me to give me a gift. Something very large as a gift. But a few minutes into it, nothing is happening. I am a bit confused. and well, disappointed.

But as I settled in, I started feeling the rhythm of the rod. I mean, really feeling the rod. Its movement. Listening to the sound of the whipping back and forth. Line going through the air in the night breeze. The zing of it. I could not see my back cast. Only feel it. And hear it. The line loading each time through the eye lits, back and forth, back and forth. In perfect rhythm. It was dark. So dark, I could not see where my line went into the water, only feel it. All I can say is that for the first time, I felt things I hadn’t. I wasn’t focused on a spot on the river, or if anyone was watching, or if I was moving my rod right. It was just this moment, where I stepped into a new place. A new rhythm really, all my own. All the men before me, the adventures, experiences behind me. Just me, this river somewhere that I could not see, and what I felt like was God that called me here.

And so, trying to get ahead of God, and know what he was up to. I thought, this is it. The moment I land one. Its beautiful. I am ready to tell that story. Experience it. Take it in, maybe cry on the shore with the fish. But nothing. I moved down a bit. Then across a bridge to get in some deeper water. Almost trying to make it happen. Help God out. Maybe he meant over here. Or there. Down here? Gosh, its getting late. Where is he? Where is my fish? Its 4 a.m. now.And then I heard it. The voice, small one. But as loud as clear and in focus as the whipping of my rod.

“You are a good fly fisherman.”

Whoah. For real? I mean… I am feeling it. Really less self conscience then ever before. And, ya know… wow. So great, now lets find it. I kept thinking… that is not it, is it. What about the fish. The big fish I woke up for. Where is it? Over in this direction? Maybe one more cast… but I realized why I wanted the fish. So I had proof. So I could say, I caught a fish, and I am good. I know what I am doing. I can tie a fly. And fish in the dark. I really didn't even take in those words. I just moved right into looking for the fish again. Waiting for what a good fisherman gets... fish.

It wasn’t until the next day, when I realized why. God wanted to tell me that. Not you are good, and here is your prize. I have been digging into this place of perfection in my life. God has been. After me in it. For me, that is what I wanted to hear. “You are so good, you got this fish. I wanted to give to you.” I was expecting a reward of a prize. The words... that well... it was nice. but what does it get me?

Its crazy, because I have been doing a lot of outdoor things, fishing, hunting, and I tell you, I am learning so much. How to walk in the woods, call a turkey, tie a clouser minnow, and track a deer. Things not like me. Not in my previous nature. But I haven’t any luck in getting anything really, besides some fish.

But, I think, that is some part of what God is doing. Can I be a good fly fisherman without holding up a prize? I hope… and can I be a good fly fisherman without landing a prize Red Fish? I think that is what God is saying…

“Xan, you are a good fly fisherman.” Not because you get trophies. But because you just are. Gosh, really? That almost sounds like... well... love. and not about performance... but, about who I am. and what I am. You love me God… because I…. well, do this or that, and a few more of this. No. I love you, Xan. Because I just do.

Dang. I am only trying to receive that. And those words from God.I love what God is doing. I really need that. To believe his words, his voice. and what is happening. Not by results. But by his process. and just by believing him.

4 comments:

samwise said...

thanks for sharing your delight! hope you and your bride are finding some rest! keep walking with God blessings!!

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Brian said...

Thanks, Xan. With so many "to do's" in this season that scream for accolades and words of affirmation from friends that reveal my constant bend toward performance and expose my refusal to trust in my identity found in this Lover God, your words call for something deeper, something truer, something solid. I remember, faintly, like waking from a dream, that I have a name. And even now I'm realizing that it is reality I remember, not sleep, and that I must wake. I think it was Thoreau that said, "We must reawaken and learn to remain awake, not by mechanical aid, but by the infinite expectation of the dawn." The dawn, when Christ's love rises in me... I need that. I need to listen for my name, hear it again like you heard yours. And then trust.

David said...

Your story is interesting because it kind of gets into the seasons of a fisherman.

When folks begin to fish all they can think about is catching that first fish.

Then as soon as they catch that first fish they have to catch another...

Then it becomes about "how many" fish and I caught 20 or 40 or 80 fish!

Then it becomes about "how big" and catching that +20 inch fish, then the +25 then the +30....

Then it becomes about "the exotic" either fishing in some exotic place or catching something unique.

Then there seems to be a shift and it becomes more about the fishing and less about the fish... just getting out and catching "a fish" becomes the only goal just to prove that you still have what it takes.

The final stage has very little to do about the fish other than they are there. Catching is just a bonus. Fishing becomes larger that any fish and more that any quanity. Being out with the smells, sights, and sounds is all that becomes important...
A time to renew the soul and hear Gods voice.