Thursday, August 11, 2011

only for a moment

"But now, for a brief moment, the LORD our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage." Ezra 9:8

Isn't it just like God to give me a life lesson to remind me that He loves me and understands me.  His love is evident by the good things He gives to us...even if it is only for a moment. 
He is God...and He is good.
No matter what.
While over in the village, Kim's friend, Al, was so kind enough to take us fishing over at the river.  Kim caught an estimated 40 lb King Salmon last week...I was so excited for her and for us again as we were going to get to go fishing to try and catch another one.
If you enjoying fishing, you know that there are days that you catch fish every other time you cast your line...and then there are days you don't ever get a bite.  Or, at most, it takes a lot of patience to finally accidentally hit one on the head with the bait and he gets hooked totally by accident. :)
The fish weren't biting.  At all. 
I could see the salmon in the river...at one time there were at least 7 or 8 within a small ring of distance in the middle of the river by where we stood on its edge.  I could see the bait go between their heads and tails and they never flinched.  Oh, once in awhile they'd swish their tails or nose after the bait for a second, but they just left it alone.
Finally, I felt something on my line...it was a small trout.  The hook had gone through his eye, so I really do think that it was a total fluke that I caught him.  But his bad luck was a happy dance occasion for me.  I was fishing in Alaska and I caught something. 
Seemingly, but not really, hours later, I was casting out for the hundredth time and in a flash, I saw movement in the water and almost instantly felt the familiar tug on the line.  This was no small trout.  A few seconds after the war with the salmon began, he jumped and out from the water came a rainbow of red.  That moment I will not soon forget.  How graceful and how beautiful he looked cannot be put into words.
Now, I've grown up fishing.  I've even been deep sea fishing a few times and thoroughly enjoyed the tug of war with the fish below who happen to want to munch on your bait.  Adrenaline runs high when reeling in a fish.  Arms can tire out rather quickly.  There are circumstances that are out of my control that will affect the outcome of what happens with the fish.  Knowing these things were not enough to prepare me for the fight this fish had in him.
It didn't take long for me to realize this was unlike any other fish I've encountered.  He was stronger and had an endurance level above and beyond what I was expecting.  Al estimated him to be another 40 pounder based of his size.  It was exhilarating and exhausting all in one.  He'd swim one direction, let me reel him in a little, then take off for deeper water again in the opposite direction.  I wanted help.  I didn't think I could take another minute of arm wrestling this monster.  I was gently reminded it was my fight...my dream of catching the big one coming true...my battle to win...my fish story.  I dug in deeper and continued to reel in a line that seemed to never get shorter.
He and I were in battle for around 7 minutes (there's a video to prove it)...
and then...
the line snapped.
As quickly as it began, it ended. 
No notice.  No happy ending.  Gone.
My heart sank, but I was still smiling.  For a few minutes I was in a daze, wondering if that really just happened...wondering how that could have just happened.  I dropped down on the rock I had used to help brace myself against the fish's powerful pull and gazed out over the river where I knew there was a salmon with my hook still in its mouth...and a little smug smile on his face. 
A new fight surfaced.  This time within me...against my own self.  I had a choice to make.  Right here, right now, I could choose to be down and out and let the loss affect the rest of my day and that of my friends, too.  Or, I could appreciate the moment for what it had been and accept the fact that my day (and my life) will go on just as well without that fish coming to shore. 
I began thinking about how frustrating it had been to see all of those salmon just sitting there ignoring the bait for so long.  How I had simply prayed for one to take the bait...just once.  Slowly it sank in that my prayer had been answered.  One had taken the bait...hook, line, and sinker.  He would have taken me in, too, had I let him. :) 
I was able to experience something new.  It was exciting.  It brought me joy.  I had caught a King Salmon.  He indeed was caught.  He just wasn't coming to shore.  He would have been released after any photo opp had passed anyway.  Did it really matter in the end that he never flopped around at my feet?  Oh, it would have been nice to have a photo to go along with my story, but it's still my fish story with or without one.

I have been reminded to enjoy the moments. 
Hold onto them while they are mine. 
Make the most of them as they happen. 
Be willing to let them go when the time comes.      
Sometimes, it's just not meant to be for a lifetime, but only for a moment. 
These moments add up and become a part of my story...my life.    

1 comment:

  1. Great thoughts. Now is the appointed time. Who knows whether we get another day, even another moment? I have to learn to live in the moment more. Thanks for sharing!

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