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My dad loved to fish. When I was seven, he took me fishing in a leaky, wooden sixteen-foot rowboat with a ten horsepower Mercury outboard on the back. We fished for fluke while cargo ships passed just a few miles away from us.
As I got a little older, he took me on a deep-sea fishing boat. Forty men got on this boat and would “bottom fish.” My dad taught me to keep my thumb on the reel while the hook went to the bottom. If I didn’t do that, the spool would turn faster than the line was coming off of it and develop a “bird’s nest.” Then you had to peel off a lot of line until you got to the place that the line was not in a mess and start reeling in all the line you let out. I only did that twice.
There was one type of fishing I never did with my dad and that was surf fishing. I remember seeing his long pole that he cast from the shore. It’s been over thirty-six years since he and I went on a fishing boat. I remember him pulling out a $20 bill to pay for us and it blew out of his hand. That was an expensive day of fishing.
As he got older with heart issues, the poles gathered dust. I inherited them after he died. With the busyness of raising kids and the Rescue Mission, I stopped fishing.
Early April, my son-in-law’s father died. He had always promised his son to go fishing with him. His phrase was, “the next time.” Now, there are no more “next times.”
In June, our family went to the outer banks. Seven of us in a house. Will and I agreed we would go surf fishing.
I pulled out the reels and examined the line. It was over sixty years old. I had to pull all the old line off of it. As it laid on the floor, it looked like a bad wig. There were five reels that needed a new line. It was a lot of work taking off the old line. My wife helped me put on the new line. With a pencil through the spool and her thumb on the new line, I cranked the reel and added new line. It was green and highly recommended for surf fishing. Those sixty-year-old reels glowed with the new, modern green fishing line on them.
Will and I had a blast surf fishing. No, we didn’t catch anything. It’s not about catching fish. It’s about spending time together.
Why did I change the line? What if I caught that really big fish and the line broke? It was worth $7 of new fishing line to get a chance to reel in the big one. Fishing line technology has changed a lot over the past 60 years.
There is a scripture verse that says you can’t pour new wine into old wine skins. It says, “Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
Similarly, why do we want to take the new ways of living that God is giving us and pour it into our old way of living. The old will break and all that God has planned for us will be lost.
Instead, put God’s new ways of living into the new life he is giving you.
I’ll be back in two weeks. Until then, live well my friend.