I recently acquired a small fishing boat; something I can handle on my own, and it reminds me of a boat my grandfather had. I have named it, “Sabbath”. I chose that name because I am so relaxed when I am working on the boat, getting it ready to go out, and launching into the seemingly magical waters of relaxation.
I must confess, I didn’t understand the joy of fishing until my good friend, Clint Baranowski offered these words of wisdom: “When you figure out that fishing is not about catching fish, it’s about something else, then you’ll have it mastered.” I asked, “Then what is it about?” Clint replied, “I don’t know. That’s what you have to figure-out.”
As I thought about that advice, I realized much of my former frustration with fishing was that after all the expense and preparation, I would not get so much as a nibble, and I would think it was ridiculous to continue wasting time like that. I expected hard results from my money and hard work, but was more often than not, frustrated and disappointed.
After fishing with Clint a few times, I started to develop a somewhat better understanding of what fishing really meant to me. But it wasn’t until I took “Sabbath” out alone the for the first time that I began to understand. There can and should be joy in the preparation for fishing and a relaxed nature to making the trip to the ramp and launching on to the water.
There can and should be a wave of relaxation flow through you as you travel across the water. And the act of fishing, not just catching fish, can be a therapeutic pastime. When I am fishing alone, I don’t listen to any music, only the sounds of creation. When I am fishing with Clint, we share interesting conversation. Both are uplifting.
I am learning that fishing, for me, is about learning to relax and un-plug for a while. That gives me a chance to re-boot and re-organize, much like what I understand to be a Sabbath. Since I work on Sundays, I need another day of the week to observe a Sabbath.
There is also something uniquely special about the water. Our bodies are about 80% water, our planet is covered by more water than land, and the biblical story tells us that water covered the entire earth twice. (See Gen. 1:1,2; Gen. 6-9) We all need a little “me” time, but many of us don’t realize it until we are older.
If you are anywhere around water and see an old man, likely wearing bib overalls, fishing in an aluminum grandpa boat, it just might be me enjoying a Sabbath in “Sabbath”. Wave as you go by.
Blessings and Peace to You All,
Rev. Dr. David Bridges is the pastor at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Grove. He can be reached at email@example.com. St. Andrew's worship service is at 10 a.m., every Sunday, and broadcast on KWXC 88.9 FM at 5 p.m. on Saturday and 7:30 a.m. on Sunday.