By Christy Kirtlan
Life gets so busy as a wife, mom, church leader, daughter, sister, aunt…. that we often forget to slow down and let God. He will use whatever He chooses, you know.
When I was a young girl, my brother taught me to fish in a small pond across the street from our house. My parents started camping on weekends along the Muskingham River near Zanesville, Ohio where I spent hours fishing. We spent a lot of hours, early morning and even overnight, laying on the riverbank or dock, hauling in carp and catfish as long as your arm! The fun and peaceful rhythm of the river and smell of outside made for great summer days and nights.
However, as I got older, other things took the place of fishing and I forgot about it.
Fast-forward to 2015, and my world was shattered by a tragedy, the wrongful death of our precious granddaughter at birth. Even though my faith was strong and I held on to Jesus, my spirit was rocked and there was no peace. I couldn’t quiet my mind and my heart was broken. I was devastated that I couldn’t fix this for my daughter. A grief counselor suggested I think of something that brought me peace long ago, and fishing came to mind. The peacefulness of the water, the beauty of God’s creation and smells from outside long ago came to mind.
My husband took me out and taught me to fish in a way I’d never experienced. Instead of passively waiting for a fish to bite, he taught me the sport of bass fishing! The action of going after the fish and watching it leap out of the water in all of its beauty captivated me! The strategy, the different sizes and types of bass and the morning air or evening breeze brought great peace to me. I was hooked!! (all catch and release!)
How can fishing accomplish anything for God? Well, I can tell you I have spent hours deepening relationships, talking about Jesus, enhancing friendships, and healing hearts…over a pond of water and a fishing pole. (I will make you fishers of men…) Watching the joy in my grandchildren’s faces as they reel in a fish is a priceless memory for them and me! I’ve reconnected with my adult nephews over fishing! I’ll get a call from one of those big guys, asking “Hey Aunt Christy, got time for some fishin’?” A sweet old guy from our church recovering from heart surgery, had the best day of his life catching 9 or 10 largemouth bass, when he thought his fishing days were over! The father-daughter relationship he and I developed over the years is irreplaceable and healed both of our hearts of something we didn’t even know was missing! My husband and I have discovered a fun new hobby that can actually go along with his bicycling habit – we’ve found bike paths with PONDS!
I know what you’re busy with, and I know how hard it is to find time to just be still. The expectations are heavy on you. But God wants to bless you with His peace. For me, He used His creation. Take some time for you – even if it’s just a walk. Breathe Him in. Fill your lungs with fresh air and your heart with His peace.