I’ve had some deeply religious moments while on a fishing boat. Maybe some of you anglers out there know what I’m talking about.
Whether you are in the deep Minnesota north woods or cruising along Lake Minnetonka, being close to nature is a spiritual thing. Questions like: “Where did this all come from?” and “How come the earth is so beautiful?” seem to linger, whether you are catching fish or not.
I spent my growing-up years going to Lake Shamineau in Morrison County with my grandparents. I’m willing to admit that maybe my parents just wanted to get rid of me for the weekend, but they also knew that spending time among the water and trees was also giving me a gift. I grew close to my grandparents and developed a love for God’s creation.
My grandpa and I would spend hours on the fishing boat trying to catch a meal of sunnies and watching the sun set. Our conversations delved into the practical and spiritual.
It was in these experiences that God was speaking to me in a way that is hard to put on paper. I realized that there was more to life, that this is a bigger narrative that gives the universe movement.
Maybe this is why Jesus came to speak to the fishermen of his day. Many of the first disciples of Jesus were Galilean fishermen. Those fishermen probably had a sense of the bigger narrative Jesus was showing the world.
One of the famous lines from the Bible is how Jesus calls those guys to come and follow him (Matthew 4:19). One version of that famous verse puts it this way: “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.”
We probably do not think of the lakes of Minnesota as being the place where proselytizing happens, but God has given us the splendor of this wonderful state. It is up to us to recognize this and take care of it.
As we take to the lakes to enjoy that beauty, and maybe some of its bounty, may we see God’s majesty in the things right around us.