Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Gone Fishing

The sign is on my office door: "Gone Fishing". I've cleaned my desk, organized my bookshelves, and cleared my emails on the computer. 31 straight days without one day off tells me it's time to give everyone around here a break -- from me. I'm not looking for sympathy, just understanding. Three weddings and a church outreach picnic added on to the regular church stuff and there you have one crazy month. You're thinking: "I thought Pastors only worked for a couple of hours on Sunday". I know you don't really think that. But why fishing?

Well, that's not the only thing Jeanne and I do when on vacation. Our kids and grandkids come to spend time with us and that is a blast. We do a lot of reading, walking, swimming, driving around Lake Superior, -- and fishing -- along with late nights around the camp fires (often swatting mosquitoes) and eating too much of all the wrong foods. It's beautiful. But fishing is still big. My philosophy is that if God made the world three-fourths water, then it stands to reason He wanted us to spend a lot of time fishing. And fishermen were the first people Jesus called to be His followers.

By the way, when Jeanne and I are in the boat on the lake, we are like little kids sometimes watching all that is going on around us. When you see eagles flying nearby; when you see otters swimming along the shore; when the night skys are glimmering with countless stars: when the birds sign songs you only hear when you are quiet and listening; when the forests beckon you to explore the unknown; is it any wonder that we occassionally break into "How Great Thou Art"? Oh, and we might even catch a fish or two. Which is beside the point even though a nice bonus.

It seems crazy to suggest that a person could "miss" God when doing God's work, but it can happen. Work, even God's work, can easily start to be about me and what I am doing. Like God really needs me to get His work done. Fishing, more to the point, observing what God has created, brings us to a place of humility. God can do anything because He has created everything. Does He really need me? A better question is: Do I really need Him? ABSOLUTELY. And this God who has created all things for His pleasure, also created me. Wow! He loves me (you), created me (you) and has an incredible plan for my (your) life.

A vacation? Yes, but not from God but toward God to hear more clearly that I am blessed and humbled to be thought worthy of being used of Him. And so are you. Take some time to break away, even for a day or an hour to get that perspective. If we listen, He speaks clearly. "Lord, teach us to be good listeners"

So if someone says that Pastor Jerry has gone fishing, remember that he has also gone "listening" and "watching". Hopefully to catch a little more of that Up North Wisdom.

" Lord God, I love you and I thank You." And blessings to you, my friend, for a "listening" summer.


  1. Can't wait to go fishing with you dad:) It's definitely one of the major highlights of my summer. Let's outfish Tim this time ok:)


    that being said....

    i'm so happy you're taking some time to relax, unwind and enjoy the little pleasures in life that you talked about.

    (still jealous, tho)

    hope you won't take a break from blogging....your fans can't wait for days on-end without a new nugget or two...don't leave us hangin.

  3. I'm sending Taylor to fish in my place. He will enjoy it much more than me! :) Have fun. We'll miss you. Taylor is so excited. Especially for the late night games! It means a lot to him (and me too) that you spend this time with him. Love you!

  4. Pastor Jerry (Dad) "listening?" Ha, kidding! But seriously,,,,:) I think, maybe, it is so much easier to listen up there, cause you are so far away from what man built, and just completely surrounded by what God has created! We all know that you put God first Dad cause you leave the greatest fishing ever to go and do His work! :) We love you when you are here and we miss you when you are gone but I think everyone knows and can understand the love and passion you have for God and for Going Fishin!