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A Few Red Wigglers Made My Day

Every October the caring people of our local church family set aside a Sunday to express appreciation to the pastor. I have served in my present church for almost fifteen years and they have always observed this special day. Along with a little poking fun of the pastor, Gale and I always come away blessed beyond what we could ever deserve as we are showered with kind words, meaningful gifts, and an outstanding meal. And because of the occasion, Gale and I have very limited responsibilities on that day–I do not preach, she does not teach the children, and we both have a chance to relax a bit.

Last Sunday was that special day and things worked out so we could get away for a couple of nights. About two years ago our children had purchased us a two night stay at a cozy cottage. We had made plans to go in the past but it never worked out, but finally everything lined up just right and we were able to make the trip. Actually, the place is down near the state park—a twenty minute drive from our house—but the nearness didn’t matter. At least we were able to get in different and relaxing surroundings, which we enjoyed immensely.

On the first of our two nights we decided to take along two of our little girls. That might seem like an odd thing to do when we were trying to get away from everything and relax, but getting away from other things also provided some uninterrupted time to spend with Addy and Raegan. We had lots of fun, they were well behaved, and they seemed to enjoy being there as much as we enjoyed having them. To add to the adventure, we took them fishing. We do not own a boat, so it was just simply fishing off the boat dock. It would have taken a fast fish to grab Raegan’s hook with all the movement she made, but that was fine; just seeing her experiencing fishing with Nana and Papa was reward enough.

Addy was a lot more serious about fishing than I expected and she patiently stuck with it. It all brought back memories from the days when our children were small. When I took them I had might as well forget about fishing myself for I spent my time untangling lines, baiting hooks, and making sure all the kids stayed out of the water. Some things don’t change much and I did the same things on this expedition that I did over thirty years ago when Sandra and Jessica were small.

While I was doing my duty of working on a fishing pole, I heard Addy say “I got one!” Considering the amount of grass in the lake I supposed that she would soon reel in a big clump of it, but I was wrong—with no help from me she had hooked her first fish! It was certainly not worthy to become a mounted feature on the den wall, but her excitement was bigger than the biggest whale in the ocean. She talked about it throughout the evening and expressed her hopes of catching an even a bigger one the next day. Her thrill put a smile on my face and joy in my heart; it was one of those simple yet unforgettable moments. I didn’t know a few red wigglers could build such a lasting memory.

We live in a world that is filled with bad news and uncertainties. If we focus only on those things we can easily become weighed down with concerns we have no control over. It is refreshing to pull back from the fast paced and unpredictable surroundings that we are in and enjoy the pure and simple pleasures that are nearer than we think. As Psalm 46:10 instructs, we should take time to “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (New International Version). We all need to learn to stop struggling with things we cannot fix and enjoy the inner relief that only God can provide.