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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Joy (05/18/06)

TITLE: Can We Go Fishing for Joy?
By Billie Buckley


Do yourself a favor. Go get a cup of coffee because we may be here for a long time. I’m “fixin” to take you down the road named “Easy Street” I do not live on this prosperous road like so many of you do. This could be a humbling experience, to say the least. Read on. I have never had the good fortune or the joy to:

Slam-dunk a basketball
Tap dance
Bake a fruitcake
Water ski
Make a garden grow
Teach algebra
Fly an airplane

That pretty much covers it on the air, land and sea, doesn’t it? You had better go get a coffee refill because there is still one more thing I can’t do. I can’t catch a fish. In fact, I don’t think I have ever been successful catching one. The fishing gods all gang up against me even before I put the line in the water. They tangle up my fishing line; they really do.

Seems to me you have two options when this happens…untangle it or cut it loose. What would you do? I’d have to untangle it. I just couldn’t let it go. The bottom line is I spend all my time fiddling and fuming over the tangles. Then I end up with no chance to even try to catch the good fortune of a true fisherman.

My Favorite Preacher (my husband) would cut it loose, forget it and go back to having a joyous time at the old fishing hole. He would end up catching a mess of fish like you are supposed to. I guess you could say of his fishing, “He is a Prosperous Preacher.” So what is the point of this confession? Think about this for a minute.

My life and your life get tangled up in more ways than we want to admit. We may not be the cause of the mess-up. God is not the cause of it either. I read once there are two kinds of problems for a Christian. I took this personally when I read “One is between God and you; the other walks along beside God and you.” The result of this walk may not be a happy one…but it can be a joyous one.

By the way,you do know the difference between joy and happiness, don’t you? Happiness is fickle and joy is never fickle. Granted, this joy must be based on the love relationship with Him and who we are in Christ Jesus.

Getting back to our mix-up, we might not can control it or fix it but we can let it go. Any chance you can do this? Just cut the line and let it go. Does that comfort your heart, as it does mine? Does it mean we can taste the success and joy of a big catch?

You do understand we are not talking about fishing. We are talking about our tiredness that comes from aggravation, anger and frustrations. What is the normal reaction to these experiences? We fight back. The world certainly encourages us to do this, doesn’t it? I happen to believe God has a better plan than the world has. That’s why he gave us His Son to be our Great Joy Giver.

As Christians, we need to work his plan if we want to thrive in the richness and joy of His Presence…our true and lasting prosperity.

I know you may be fuming now. You have figured out I am suggesting that you may want to ignore the hurt and the pain that flares up at unexpected times. Not so. I am learning to be honest about my feelings with God and with others when everything I do gets tangled up with things and people I can’t change. I’m choosing more and more to let it go, stop trying to fix the blame or manipulate the circumstances. We just hold on to the joy that is never fickle and is ours because of our love relationship with Him.

Who mostly benefits from my decision? I do. I become free to love again, free to laugh, free to feel good about relationships and free to go fishing with you. Better still, we could just meet up at a fast food restaurant and order our fried catfish dinner. That could be one more state of real joy for both of us.

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This article has been read 802 times
Member Comments
Member Date
david grant05/25/06
Felt like I was sittinig across the table from a preacher friend, and he is giving mighty good advice. Enjoyed the joyful catfish fillet! Pass the tartar sauce please.

Rita Garcia05/25/06
Pursue Joy!! Great job!!
Well written and entertaining!
Sherry Wendling05/26/06
Aha, I know who this is! I always admire the way you employ wonderful, down-home visuals to bring home the lesson. The ability to 'cut the line and let the fish go' has come hard for me (We analyticals always have a fresh angle to work!) You landed a big one in this lesson: Joy is a decision. Beautiful job!
Teri Wilson05/26/06
Do you really want to teach algebra??? You have great voice as a writer - hard to believe you are good at math, too.