Fishing season has arrived here in the Ozarks. It is one of my favorite times of the year as I spend hours on the water somewhere watching a line or bobber.
But for me, this season is bittersweet. Every year while standing there holding my pole and waiting for a fish to bite, I begin to think of my dad. He and I spent a lot of time on the water together over his lifetime. We fished all over the Midwest and even into Canada. He was the only man I have known who loved fishing as much as I do. While I find joy on a lake or river, I also feel this sense of loss.
I suppose it is no coincidence that this is the time of year we celebrate Easter. The world has come alive with green grass, warmer temperatures, and fish feeding; at the same time, we think about the resurrection of Jesus. Each year when I stop and think about dad, I take my hands and grab tighter to the hope offered to us through Jesus’ resurrection. I can’t think of anything that will make this situation better besides eternal life offered in the name of the One who overcame the grave. I could build a memorial to the past or look forward toward eternity, and I choose to look beyond death and into the glorious unknown.
When my boys were little and went fishing with me, I would tell them to hold their poles tight. They needed to make sure not to lose their grip and have a fish yank it out of their hands. Now that all of us are older, my encouragement is quite similar. Hold on tight to hope, and don’t let anything rip it out of your hands. It will be the only thing better than fishing.