January 29 – If It Takes All Night

A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished. Proverbs 28:20

Just the other day, a good friend and I were swapping “fish stories.”

And since I’m still but a young man in the eyes of the modestly mature, my skills are still in the development stage. So I told him about my Grandpa, “Big Daddy.”

In my mind, there was none better and probably never will be any man more skilled at catching fish than my Big Daddy.

Though I didn’t understand it when I was a kid, it makes sense to me now. What he used to be successful at catching fish was the same exact thing he used to be successful in every other area of his life.

It wasn’t patience. It wasn’t intelligence. It wasn’t toys, tackle or bait. All of these played significant roles but only after his faith set the stage.

Big Daddy had faith that he would catch fish every single time he went out. Therefore, he brought sufficient tools to get the job done. And if it took all night long, he would be there just as determined as he was the moment he started.

I never recall a time Big Daddy was found running from one hole to the next trying to land the big one. He wasn’t known for following the advice of others about where the fish were jumping. Oh, he’d listen, but when it was all said and done, his own faithfulness kept the family freezer full of fish.

Whatever you are “fishing for” can be realized. But first you have to make up your mind…if it takes all night! Then everything else will kick in just like it’s designed to do. And before you know it, you will look around and discover there’s not enough room to hold all of the blessings.

Be still. Be faithful.

Lorenzo

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October 20 – The Angler’s Way

The fruit of the [uncompromisingly] righteous is the tree of life, and he who is wise captures human lives [for God, as a fisher of men – he gathers and receives then for eternity]. Proverbs 11:30 AMP

It finally rained! And now, I can prepare my garden for some late fall planting or winterization for spring. So the other day, my kids were down in the half acre oasis checking to see if the few weeds we had were going to cooperate and extract easily.

In the process, they unearthed an abundance of plump, juicy worms. Normally, we like to keep those little productive guys working on the soil, but with so many, my gang had a brilliant idea. “Let’s go fishing!”

For me, there are three basic keys to catching fish: bait, tackle, and timing. No matter what kind of fish you are out to catch or the location where you are going to catch them, bait, tackle, and timing will either increase or decrease your rate of success.

This has, for me, become a mandatory skill set for about everything I do in life. So, if you are going to get along, move ahead, or bring change, you have to know how to “catch people.”

The first key is bait (food). It represents things of interest to the persons you are endeavoring to reach. It is what makes sense and relevancy in their world. For instance, I have a group of friends who are undergoing some intense training for career advancement. They have a series of tests and qualifications they have to complete before they can graduate from one phase to the next. And for them, when I show up on a qualification day it speaks volumes. That’s the good kind of bait. It’s all about letting others know you care, for real!

Using the same analogy, the second key is tackle. It’s reflective in taking time out of my day, driving my car, and offering a place to train and prepare during the week’s class.

And the final key, timing, is just that, making time at the right time. In the case of my friends, timing is as important as any of the keys. And that is what makes it fishing. You can’t just generically put a schedule together and check off some boxes if you plan on “catching fish.” You have to put in some time and get to know your pond, and . . . love your fish.

The keys work whenever they are “righteously” applied. And a good fisherman lives for the times he or she can do just that…fish!