There are so many times where my plans get derailed. There are times when they don’t go as I had planned in my head. I’m the kind of person that likes to know what is going on. I like to have an idea of what to expect. I like spoilers. Unfortunately, God doesn’t like to give spoilers to His plan for me. He likes to keep me on my toes…to keep me trusting Him. In this blog, I’m going to tell a story about a lesson I learned on a fishing trip last month. I really love fishing and every year, Deborah, my dad, my Uncle Ed, and I go out to Utah to go fly fishing and it’s always a blast. This story is a tad bit long and probably a bit boring if you don’t like fishing, but bear with me. There is a reason I’ve spent the time to type it out.
On the first day, we fished the Middle Provo River and caught some nice fish. We had a great time. The second day, we went to a spot in the desert that usually produces massive fish. Our guide, Walter, is spectacular and knows what he’s doing (he is Ashton Kutcher’s guide). He has always been able to put us on the fish. He took us to our usual spot and about 10 minutes and a few drifts into it, I had on a fish. It didn’t feel big, but I reeled him in. He was about six inches long; the tiniest fish I’d ever caught in Utah. We threw him back and kept fishing. I caught about 5 more small ones. So, being a little bummed but not discouraged, we moved spots. A few minutes at this spot and I had a monster on. This fish was at least 22 inches long. I was so excited. I almost had him in and he got off. I was so disappointed. So, we moved on to the last spot and it didn’t produce anything. After a short break, we fished a spot I’d never fished before. I was excited to get on some new water. This was supposed to be great fishing. We ended up catching fish even smaller than the first fish. I was disappointed that the spots that were supposed to be promising didn’t produce the fish we wanted.
We had been talking all day about a secret reservoir that was said to have massive Tiger and Cutthroat Trout. I never thought I’d get the chance to catch a Cutthroat Trout and Tiger Trout are my favorite fish, so I wanted to go try the reservoir. We drove all the way out there and ended up not fishing. It was a bit disappointing. The next day, we decided to go to that reservoir to try to land some monsters. I was pumped. After trying for a bit to perfect a new casting technique, I cast my line out and let it sit for about 45 seconds on the water. I saw a Cutthroat under my fly and I watched it. The fish saw my fly and swam towards it. As soon as it took my fly, I set the hook and reeled him in. I was so excited to finally catch my first Cutthroat Trout. After that, I didn’t want to stop. The wind was blowing super hard and I was freezing, but I would rather be fishing and freezing than sitting in the car getting warm. So, I was persistent and landed another beautiful Cutthroat.
As we drove back to the condo to pack up and to catch a red eye flight home, I started thinking: life is a lot like fishing. We start out thinking that we are going to be successful and then we fall short. Many times, we do things and we think we know what the outcome will be. We think we have all of the right skills, equipment, people, and perseverance that we could need and that should be all we need to be successful. In life, we think we know what God’s plan is. And often times, the plans that we think we know, aren’t what God has in mind. He has different things for us and they are always better than we could have planned ourselves.
If we had been super successful in the desert, we would not have tried the new reservoir and I wouldn’t have caught the Cutthroats. While I was disappointed in the beginning, God knew what was going to happen next. In life, we get disappointed when things don’t work out the way we had planned. Being disappointed is okay; in fact, I think it is beneficial to our lives. Without it, we get used to things going right for us and we never learn to trust God.
God has better plans than we can dream of on our own. God doesn’t really care that I like fishing, but He uses those times in the water to teach me lessons. He uses hard and disappointing times to teach us things and to lead us to better opportunities. When we think we have all we need, we need to remember that if we aren’t where God wants us to be, we aren’t going to reach our full potential and will miss out on big opportunities. The way we know where we need to be is to constantly seek God daily. He will lead us where we need to be. It just takes faith, trust, and time.
Being patient is hard, but keep waiting on and pursuing God. He knows what is best and He knows what you need. He’ll lead you where you need to be…where He wants you to be. And who knows, maybe you’ll catch fish you never even dreamed of catching.