By Louis Lotz
There was a stream near my boyhood home, just a quick bike ride down the road, and I’d go fishing as often as I could. There was a running argument at our home as to whether fishing was allowed on Sunday afternoons. Mom didn’t approve. Dad didn’t care. I argued that Jesus’s disciples were fishermen and it was better to think of God while fishing than to think of fishing while sitting in church. Eventually I wore her down.
I’d ride down to the stream, my pocket stuffed with worms. I’d wade out into the shallows, and there I would fish. One Sunday afternoon, a kind of miracle occurred there at the stream—at least it seemed like a miracle to me. I felt a light thunk on my head, and then several little thunks on my shoulders. There were little splashes on the surface of the stream, and then the water began to boil with fish, all rising to eat. It was raining mayflies—thousands of mayflies, millions. I caught several fish, but after a while I stopped and just stood there watching, gradually losing myself in the wonder of it all. It was an utterly satisfying moment.
I brought my children fishing when they were young. They didn’t take to fishing the way I did when I was their age, but we had fun. Now they have successful careers and families of their own and not much time for fishing. But one day last summer my daughter and son-in-law visited with their three-year-old, my granddaughter. After dinner, my daughter said, “Lorelei, I bet if you asked him, Grandpa would take you fishing.” So we walked over to my neighbor’s pond. Standing there in the gloaming, I slipped a worm onto the hook and helped her cast it out into the deep end, and we caught some fish, and I gradually lost myself in the wonder of it all.
The grace of God rains down on us from out of heaven. Blessings of faith, memory, the wonder of creation—these things are all around us, thunking us on the head, falling at our feet like so much manna.
Sometimes I lose sight of life’s blessings, and I wander from that place of blessedness. But I always find it again. It’s not hard to find. It’s just a quick ride down the road.
“Signs of the Kingdom” is written by and reflects the opinions of Louis Lotz, a retired RCA pastor who lives in Hudsonville, Michigan.
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