I went fishing with a buddy of mine from church today. I always love getting out on the water. Today was especially nice because the fish werenít biting. No that is not a typo. I did say it was especially nice that the fish werenít biting today. I know my buddy and the other guys on the boat wish the fish were biting, but I was none too concerned about it. I was perfectly at peace with just being on the boat, with a line in the water, swaying back and forth from swell to swell.
I was never a patient fisher, but as years passed by and maturity set in, I learned that fishing many times isnít about the fish. I truly believe that most people arenít great fishers, they are great watchers. They watch their bobbers jump up and down as the waves roll in. Case in point, I fished for nearly six hours today and caught two fish. Snagging, reeling, catching, removing, and releasing probably took all of 5 minutes times two. I spent ten out of 360 minutes interacting with a fish. Granted I did some talking and some listening with my friends on the boat, but the majority of the time I sat there and explored. I explored in my mind the grandeur of the environments my eyes were taking in.
There were multi-million dollar houses threaded amongst palm trees and evergreens that decorated the shoreline. The sky seemed like an endless runway until it hit the waters edge somewhere at the horizon. The water was choppy and white-capped, but clear like a blue sapphire. From time to time I would see another fishing skiff, jet ski, or diverís boat occasionally dotting the aqueous canvas from a distance. As the afternoon crept upon us, a formidable and gloomy wall of cumulonimbus clouds loomed eerily overhead as it began to build a stormy fortress surely to drop buckets of precipitation on the unsuspecting tourist-crammed beaches below. While lounging in knee deep water I chased what looked like a piece of grass in the water with my hand. Frustrated that I couldnít grab it, I discovered it wasnít a piece of grass at all, but rather brilliantly disguised fish.
I was a good watcher today. I had to be. Out of an eight hour day on the water, six of those hours fishing, I had only used up ten minutes on two fish, which left me with 390 minutes of ďpay attentionĒ time.
I donít stop enough to watch the people and things around me. Most of us donít take the time to stop for much of anything. Hence, the reason why we miss so much. We have all of these technological advances to help us miss less things when instead they only intensify our busyness. Is it any wonder how we miss God?
ďOpen your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such canít see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse.Ē Romans 1:20 TMB.
As if I didnít already know, but without a doubt after today I do not have any good excuses.
So stop what you are doing at some point tomorrow, go outside, pull up a chair if you can, and watch. Just watch.