My family went fishing today. My youngest had not yet caught a fish “in her entire life.” It was a gorgeous day for being outside. It was cool with a breeze, yet sunny. And this morning, the fish were biting! We were at a pond which is for catch-and-release fishing only. I was okay with this since I realize I would have been the one to clean the fish if we had planned to eat any.
My son seemed to have the lucky fishing pole. As soon as his line hit the water, there was a fish on his hook. This started as amazing, but quickly became unbelievable to the rest of the family. While my daughters continued to cast away with no results, my son just kept reeling in the fish. We lost count after 14. I tried to explain to my other children that there are no guarantees with fishing. Sometimes, you catch some, sometimes you don’t. It’s a great lesson in patience.
Of course, the youngest was not pleased. She moved to a different section of the lake and tried to cast further into the deep. She so badly wanted to catch a fish that she decided to give it all she could with her next cast. And that’s how she accidentally cast her entire fishing pole into the lake. Thankfully, her line had a bobber, so we could see exactly where her pole was located. Also, the wind was blowing towards us which meant we might have a chance to recover her pole. Sure enough, another family who was with us managed to “catch” her pole and bring it into shore safely. She went on to catch 4 fish of her own.
All this fishing made me think of St. Peter. I bet he loved the outdoors. I think he learned patience from fishing. He made his living doing something that at times can be quite frustrating. I wonder what was going through his mind when Jesus invited him to, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” In Luke’s Gospel, it explains that Jesus told Peter and his partners James and John where to cast their nets. Amazingly, Peter although grumpy and tired, simply obeyed, and the catch was so abundant it filled two boats. That’s why they left their nets and followed Jesus to become fishers of men. I don’t think they really had a clue as to what that term “fishers of men” meant. But, they knew abundance when they saw it. And their hearts must have been open to Christ’s call.
I pray that I become more obedient in my life. I pray that I recognize abundance and who provided it for me. I pray that my heart remains always open to Christ’s call. I pray that those closest to me respond to that call, too.
My recent post about my husband surprising me on our 16th Wedding Anniversary got my whole family and friends talking about those events. (To read that post, click here: https://gracespark.com/2014/03/04/he-waited-16-years-to-get-me/)
First of all, everything I shared was absolutely true, 100%. In fact, my husband just now reminded me of a couple of details that I had forgotten. The following 3 tips are how you multiply your romance without any effort at all:
- Surprise them when they least expect it! My husband chose our 16th Wedding Anniversary because he knew that most women like me are on the lookout for a bigger deal on their 10th or 20th Anniversary. Something about a decade seems important to us ladies! It also happens that we were married on the 16th of the month, but who pays attention to those little details?! (I should have been….) To seal the deal, he left a card on my suitcase the night before since I was leaving for the airport so early in the morning.
- Do more than they could ever anticipate. My husband reminded me that there were additional gifts, signs and surprises that I had forgotten. For example, at the Conference, there was a cake for everyone to share that read, “Happy 16th Anniversary from your loving husband.” Also, there were signs sitting curbside along my route to the Conference Center that wished us a Happy 16th Anniversary. There are more but you probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you all of them!
- Now here’s the multiplier: when my husband started making phone calls to set this all up, people started responding to his idea of a surprise anniversary. People love to help when you are doing something good for someone else! For example, he didn’t plan the gift for me at the Conference Center, but the woman in charge of the Conference just made that happen. When my husband called my brother-in-law who works for an airline to see if it was possible to make an announcement over the plane’s intercom, my brother-in-law found the right person at Southwest Airlines even though he worked for a different airline entirely. Also, I just found out that the hotel upgrade wasn’t my husband’s doing! He called to arrange for the flowers in my room, but the hotel staff upgraded me to help make the surprise better.
This all ties back to my blog about “More or Less Love”. Because when you try to do good, others want to join you. And the little good you were capable of doing by yourself becomes even more because of their help. It’s an abundance thing that is simply inspired by good. Isn’t that divine?
I never realized that there was more than one view on love until I was talking with an acquaintance about children. She had a toddler and was pregnant with her second. She was wondering if she could possibly love this second child as much as her first. I think my jaw dropped opened. Hopefully, I was kind enough to hide my surprise. I seriously had never thought that way. But maybe you do? Here are two views of love:
View #1 – Limited and Diminishing
Real people have shared this view with me. If you carry this view of love in your heart, you see a finite amount of love to go around. So, if you are a mom, you think loving one child means having less love for the second child, and even less for a third child. You may even run out of love if you have too many children. If you are a spouse, you think that having a child is going to make your spouse love you less. It becomes a battle over who do you love more? Me or our child? This view flows over into the workplace, the neighborhood, everywhere you go! If you have had to work with someone who shares this outlook, you will know what I mean.
View #2 – Abundant and Growing
I personally prefer this view. I like to use the analogy of a candle. If I light a candle, it brings light to the whole room. Now, if I give each of my children a candle, every time I light their candle, my candle doesn’t run out of light. In fact, it really doesn’t change. And they now have a candle that could light a whole room and a whole bunch of other candles. This candle lighting and room lighting could go on for a very long time (limited only by the fact that my analogy is based on a finite object like a candle!) This view also flows over and it just brings tremendous joy with it.
I hope your heart prefers to love with abundance! This gift of love will overflow and double back like a tidal wave. Try it sometime!