Monday, December 23, 2019

No Thanks...I'm Good

I woke up early and went to the bait store.  I walked in and said, “I would like one scoop of the crappiest minnows you have.”

“You mean that you want a scoop of crappie minnows?”

“Yes…that’s what I said.”

“No…you tried to make a bad joke based on a crappie pun.”

“Oh…well…how about some night crawlers too, and some 2 cycle oil.”

I finished buying the bait and the oil as well as some snacks and lemonade and I headed home to prepare the boat.  I set up the seats, gathered the rods and the tackle.  I loaded the life jackets and minnow bucket, and hitched up the trailer to the truck.  I then went inside to gather the last item that I needed to collect.

“Erica! I have everything ready! I am taking you on your first fishing trip today!”

This had been the tradition with the other three children.  When they were around the age of 3 or so, I would take them on a “one on one” fishing trip to catch their first fish.  The excursion would not end at the catching of the first fish…it would continue as I would bring the fish home…cut it up…cook it and make the child eat it…on a Nemo plate. 

I was so excited to take my fourth born and head out to a local lake that day.  I fully expected that we would stuff our faces with pretzels, chips and lemonade and I would see how excited she would be to catch her first fish.

“Sarah! Where is Erica?”

“I think she might be down in her room.”

“Erica! Are you so excited? Do you want to go on your first fishing trip today?”

“No thank you…I’m good.”


“Yeah…I don’t really want to go…I want to play with my dollies.”

“Really?  Are you sure? You don’t want to go fishing? Just you and me?”

“No thanks…I’m good.”

“…umm…ok…I guess…”

I don’t think she realized what was being offered.  She told me no.  I didn’t take her fishing that day.

I am struck with a spiritual parallel.  Just as Erica, perhaps, did not fully understand my offer, I am not sure we often understand what God is offering to us. It was an offer of love to her.  Likewise, God gives to us an offer of love. We speak a lot about God’s love.  I have come to believe that every concept that I have, of the love of God, falls short of its true depth…its power…its amazing fullness.
In fact, for years, when offered this reality of God’s love…my response was, “No thanks…I’m good. I think I can save myself…I think I can be good enough.  I think I can get everything I want or need out of life on my own…I don’t need or want what you are offering.”  All the while, not realizing what he was offering, and how incapable I was…how incapable I am…of saving myself.

Of all the promises that God made…and kept…The giving and receiving of his love is perhaps the most incredible one to me.

God has always been love…and now…at Christmas…he gives us the picture of just what that love is…he sends his Son…to take our place.

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