Dear Fellow Children of God,
When is fishing not really fishing? Maybe when you take your family. But hopefully, when you take your family what happens is more important than fishing.
On Thursday I looked for family to go fishing with me. The only one who could go was my 3 year old granddaughter, Emma. Emma loves to go fishing with Poppy. So, I went to put the fishing supplies in the truck. But Mary and Tim are home. We have 3 vehicles and 4 drivers. The truck had been taken. I could have gone to get the truck, but, I put the fishing stuff and the dog into my car and Emma and I went to a local lake. So Emma and I got to walk across the ice and snow. She played with the dog. We drilled holes in the ice. And Emma talked about “fish in the water.” The “fish in the water” were especially exciting to Emma. After about an hour Emma was getting cold, so we started to pull in the fishing lines. But, then a fish bit, and Emma helped me pull it in. Somehow Emma wasn’t cold any longer, and she wanted to stay and fish some more. When we left she walked and I carried her across the lake. Emma brought the fish home and talked about “the fish in the water” for a long time.
So, Friday, I was able to take my son, Josh, and both Emma and her brother, Jacob, fishing. This time I had the truck so we took all the equipment. We took the snow machine to pull the sled with the pop-up tent. We took lots of snacks. We took the dog. We went back to the same lake.
When we got to the lake we pulled the sled with the pop-up tent across the ice. It was heavy so Josh and I traded off pulling the sled. We got the holes dug and the tent set up. We got inside the tent and tried to fish. There’s not a lot of room inside a small tent with 4 holes, two seats and 4 people. But, Jake and Emma sat in our laps. They held the poles and watched the bobbers, for a couple of minutes. They ate snacks, took their gloves off, put them on, and took them off again. They went outside to play in the snow with the dog. They played with each other, and kicked ice into the fishing holes. And Emma kept talk about the “fish in the water.”
We did have one bite, but missed catching the fish. Yet, I’m not sure that Jake and Emma were upset we didn’t catch any fish. They got to spend time with Dad and with Poppy. They spent time outside playing in the snow and playing with each other. As we finally arrived at home and were unpacking both children came out and told me, “Thanks for taking us fishing, Poppy.”
No, we didn’t catch any fish. In fact, we spent a lot more time doing chores other than fishing, but I’m not sure that catching fish was all that important. What was important was time spent with family.
In Ephesians 6:4, God tells parents, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” I have 4 children, and now I have 5 grandchildren, with a sixth on the way. I love to catch fish. But, I have found that fishing gives me a chance to spend time with those I love. Catching a fish is not as important as time spent fishing with those we love. I have also learned that if Jesus’ love shows through my life to my children and grandchildren, those actions speak louder than my words. My actions are not always what I want, but I do need to spend time with family to be able to share faith and love.
The Christmas message is that God did not just love us, but He came to us. Jesus is Immanuel, “God With us.” There is no greater job for a dad than to train and instruct children and grandchildren in the love that God has given us in Jesus. But, in order to share that love we have to spend time with them. What a great goal and resolution for 2013!
A Child of God, Praying my Life shares Jesus’ love with my family,
P.S. Here are a couple of pictures to go with today’s devotion. https://picasaweb.google.com/114993745799525883148/FishingWithEmmaAndJakeDadAndPoppyDecember27And282012?authuser=0&feat=directlink
P.P.S. Here is a video that might be appropriate for today’s devotion. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IheODRwalEw
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