My son and I went on our second fishing trip. The pond is only a few miles away, but getting there takes planning. We need to be there early in the morning, or in the evening when the fish are biting. We have to factor in a sleeping child, a bus ride, packing a lunch, getting bait, finding a good spot–and on a morning I don’t have to work. I work regular hours, plus Saturday morning. As it stands, we can only go Sunday morning, as our church service begins at 1:30.
Most parents know that a fishing trip isn’t about fishing, it’s about family time. No matter how poor the fishing is, the family can still have a wonderful time: being together, encouraging, making memories, being in nature, getting to know each other. My “positive disaster” theory was put to the test when another guy showed up with a high-powered remote control racing boat. He stood on the same bank as us and ran his boat right where I was casting.
I was enraged. After all my efforts to take my son fishing, this guy shows up and–I can’t say ruins–but, nearly ruined our trip. I needed to practice my own sermons; especially with my son as my witness. I had the blackest of hearts when that guy dropped his boat in the water. I knew the fish definitely wouldn’t bite. I yelled at him that we were trying to fish. I gestured violently; I knew however, I needed to grasp this teaching moment.
I packed up all the gear (after fishing for only thirty minutes) and told my son we should go for a walk and look for bugs. He didn’t mind. He likes bugs.
On the way back up the hill, I asked my son what Daddy should do when he’s frustrated, he said, “Be kind.”
We strolled back to the bus stop, finding spiders and rolly-pollys along the way. I turned to give one more hateful glance at that guy, but then didn’t; something about a pillar of salt. That guy is still a jerk, but we had a good morning anyway. We went home with worm guts and mud on our hands and that is it’s own kind of happiness.