Fishing Stories

 

It’s those famous stories of fishermen, hunters, and all other liars.
It always starts out the same.
Normal average mundane kind of day…… but then.
The fish was 10 pounds and we had to wrestle it to the boat just before the line snapped.

Over the years the story evolves.
It starts off at a 10 pounder then makes it’s way up to 12,15, and then a whopping 25 pounds! By this time the fish is so big you couldn’t even have fit it in the frame of a wide angle camera lens. No matter how far back you stood.
It becomes the thing of legends.
Small towns rejoice, stories are told, and legends are born.
Only one day the story teller can’t quite remember what really happened anymore.
He believes the story of the 25 pound monster catch with all his heart, or at least most of it.

We all have our fish stories.
Fish stories are great until they are not so great.

Sometimes life can become a “fish story” we begin to believe things about the past that just are not true. We look in the rear view and remember the green pastures, the good ol’ days.
Problem is that the grass was never that green, those days weren’t that good, and that fish was not that big.
But to us they are ….. after all its our story. Its how we remember it.

Not too long ago I was telling a story to a couple in our church about a time that I was in Indonesia and went to work for a Muslim couple selling bootleg dvd’s on the street.
Yeah thats right, you heard me.
I offered to work there that day so one of their employees, his name was Kitut, could have a day off. Kitut worked 15 hour days 7 days a week and hadn’t had a day off in months.
I told the owner I would work and he could have the day off.
I did it, I got tourist to come into the small shop and made some sales.
It happened. At least thats the way I remembered it.
Thats the way I told the story.

Only there was a few discrepancies in the story, that I think I got wrong.
The story went down just the way I told it, but as I now remember, the owners didn’t give Kitut the day off, if I remember right they just gave him a long break.

Seems innocent enough right? Small detail. No big deal.
But here is what got me thinking.
Why is it that over time the stories change just enough to make us loo better? The fish always gets bigger, the work day gets longer, the hill was uphill both ways, and the snow was 20 feet deep.

Very rarely does the story go in the opposite direction.
But what if….

What if we have it all backwards?
What if instead of the fish getting bigger they actually got smaller?
Not smaller in size or diminish the things of the past in anyway, but small in comparison to what is happening right now.
The bigness of God at work in your life presently.
What if the good ol’ days are today?
What if our stories got even bigger, not because we deceived ourselves, but because our eyes have become wide open to the things that are going on right now?
Now thats a fish story.
Thats the story I want to live.

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Fishing Stories

Really Annoying

Here is the thing.
Some people are really really annoying.
With some people I would rather lay concrete for 14 hours a day in the middle of a 120 degree heat wave then spend 10 minutes with them in the most beautiful place on earth.
The more I think about it’s not just some….. its most.
Most people are annoying, frustrating, and slower then I would like.

The even more i think about it, its not just some, or most, its even myself.
I get on my own nerves!!! I get tired of me!
I want a vacation from myself – because I know me and I’m annoying.

And yet, somehow we can love. What?!
1 John 4 says this: And this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us.
Did you catch that?
He loved us!!!

To often we build our relationship around the idea that we love God. While this sounds good on the outside and its sound very spiritual its not.
The outcome is this: Everything in life is built on what we do for Him.
While the Gospel is based on the foundation of what He did for us!
I can love only because he first loved me.

To often we want to experience are love towards God while God wants us to experience His love towards us!
By this we can now love others because we have been loved.
Love is patient.
Love is kind.
Love is long-suffering.
Love never fails.

Really Annoying

Obey

Jesus tells this amazing parable of a dad that told his two sons to go out and get some work done on the farm, the older son answered “No way pops” only later to change his mind and go and do the work.

The dad also told the younger son to go get some work done, this young man uses his manners and replies “Yes Sir” then proceeds to play Nintendo all day. (Emphasis mine lol).

Jesus then ask the people…. who obeyed?

The people reply. The first boy of course.

Jesus explains…. I tell you the truth corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you. (FYI – the story is directed to religions leaders of the day).

I am totally convinced that when we get to heaven we will be blown away at the people that are there…… WHAT you made it!!!!

Then again we may also be totally blown away by who is not there…….

Obey

Ragamuffin

Our culture and society tries its best to tell us what is hot, new, hip, what we should like, what we should eat, what clothes to wear, what cars to drive, what homes to live in, what music is the best, what it means to fit in, to find acceptance…… the list goes on.

Problem is this. I find (along with many others) that I care less about whats new, whats hot, or what I’m suppose to like.

I don’t like Filet Mignon, red sports cars, or wearing ties.

I don’t like pepperoni on my pizza.

I don’t like saying or hearing long prayers before dinner time.

I only watch football once a year (Superbowl) and have no idea what team I’m suppose to like.

I love blue jeans and a plain white v-neck T-shirts. Board shorts and flip flops.

I love praying when I’m out in the ocean surfing.

I love getting packages in the mail (its like Christmas)!! I’ll order something online just so I can get a package, wait for the UPS, and open it as if it’s a surprise ….. every time.

I love going to church and not having to pretend to be something I am not. I am not perfect. I am me.

Are you —You? Or are you the version of you that society, culture, or other Christians have told you what your suppose to be?

Truth is its “Being yourself” is getting harder and harder. Some of us have wore the mask of cultural correctness for so long that who we are is but a distant memory. A forgotten album of a time long long ago.

…..and yet there are moments when we get glimpses of who we really are.

 

Rich Mullins in the film Ragamuffin says this:

“If you’re half as cultured and refined as most Christians wish you were, He [Jesus] would be useless to Christianity.”

Ragamuffin

A Letter from Mike Rowe “Dirty Jobs”

I came across this letter that was written in to Mike Rowe from the TV show Dirty Jobs and thought it was a great read. Here is the letter and his response back.

Hey Mike!
I’ve spent this last year trying to figure out the right career for myself and I still can’t figure out what to do. I have always been a hands on kind of guy and a go-getter. I could never be an office worker. I need change, excitement, and adventure in my life, but where the pay is steady. I grew up in construction and my first job was a restoration project. I love everything outdoors. I play music for extra money. I like trying pretty much everything, but get bored very easily. I want a career that will always keep me happy, but can allow me to have a family and get some time to travel. I figure if anyone knows jobs its you so I was wondering your thoughts on this if you ever get the time! Thank you!
– Parker

Hi Parker
My first thought is that you should learn to weld and move to North Dakota. The opportunities are enormous, and as a “hands-on go-getter,” you’re qualified for the work. But after reading your post a second time, it occurs to me that your qualifications are not the reason you can’t find the career you want.
I had drinks last night with a woman I know. Let’s call her Claire. Claire just turned 42. She’s cute, smart, and successful. She’s frustrated though, because she can’t find a man. I listened all evening about how difficult her search has been. About how all the “good ones” were taken. About how her other friends had found their soul-mates, and how it wasn’t fair that she had not.
“Look at me,” she said. “I take care of myself. I’ve put myself out there. Why is this so hard?”
“How about that guy at the end of the bar,” I said. “He keeps looking at you.”
“Not my type.”
“Really? How do you know?”
“I just know.”
“Have you tried a dating site?” I asked.”
“Are you kidding? I would never date someone I met online!”
“Alright. How about a change of scene? Your company has offices all over – maybe try living in another city?”
“What? Leave San Francisco? Never!”
“How about the other side of town? You know, mix it up a little. Visit different places. New museums, new bars, new theaters…?”
She looked at me like I had two heads. “Why the hell would I do that?”
Here’s the thing, Parker. Claire doesn’t really want a man. She wants the “right” man. She wants a soul-mate. Specifically, a soul-mate from her zip code. She assembled this guy in her mind years ago, and now, dammit, she’s tired of waiting!!
I didn’t tell her this, because Claire has the capacity for sudden violence. But it’s true. She complains about being alone, even though her rules have more or less guaranteed she’ll stay that way. She has built a wall between herself and her goal. A wall made of conditions and expectations. Is it possible that you’ve built a similar wall?
Consider your own words. You don’t want a career – you want the “right” career. You need “excitement” and “adventure,” but not at the expense of stability. You want lots of “change” and the “freedom to travel,” but you need the certainty of “steady pay.” You talk about being “easily bored” as though boredom is out of your control. It isn’t. Boredom is a choice. Like tardiness. Or interrupting. It’s one thing to “love the outdoors,” but you take it a step further. You vow to “never” take an office job. You talk about the needs of your family, even though that family doesn’t exist. And finally, you say the career you describe must “always” make you “happy.”
These are my thoughts. You may choose to ignore them and I wouldn’t blame you – especially after being compared to a 42 year old woman who can’t find love. But since you asked…
Stop looking for the “right” career, and start looking for a job. Any job. Forget about what you like. Focus on what’s available. Get yourself hired. Show up early. Stay late. Volunteer for the scut work. Become indispensable. You can always quit later, and be no worse off than you are today. But don’t waste another year looking for a career that doesn’t exist. And most of all, stop worrying about your happiness. Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.
Many people today resent the suggestion that they’re in charge of the way the feel. But trust me, Parker. Those people are mistaken. That was a big lesson from Dirty Jobs, and I learned it several hundred times before it stuck. What you do, who you’re with, and how you feel about the world around you, is completely up to you.
Good luck -
Mike
PS. I’m serious about welding and North Dakota. Those guys are writing their own ticket.


PPS Think I should forward this to Claire?

A Letter from Mike Rowe “Dirty Jobs”