by: Rich Vaughan
Years ago when I was the Senior Pastor of Raeford UMC in Raeford, NC I took our youngest son fishing. We went to a farmer’s pond that I knew and had permission to fish. Allen and I had a good time. I caught some really nice bass and a large bream on the lures I was using. Allen caught a huge Bass (about 8-9 pounds) on my favorite lure. Unfortunately, after Allen wore the fish down and got him near the boat, I lost the fish (and my favorite lure that I fished with for over 30 years) as I was reaching down to grab him. I was upset, mainly for losing the biggest fish Allen had ever caught, but Allen gave me a fishing/life lesson that day. Allen handled the loss of the fish fine. He enjoyed catching him and reeling him in and getting to see how big the bass was before I decided to baptize the fish again by immersion! I felt terrible for letting the large bass get away but Allen just rolled with the experience.
What a great example of how to deal with the disappointments of life. That moment on a large farm pond lake, surrounded by trees and some cattle reminded me of how much I enjoyed fishing and being with my sons. It reminded me of how many blessings God puts in our lives. From our family, to the beauty and peace of nature, to God’s music in the sound of the birds or the divine quiet of a calm lake and a clear blue sky. That day still reminds me of how most of us get so wrapped up in the business of life and the difficulties of this year in particular, that we often overlook the simple things and the many blessings that the Lord sends into our lives. From the North Carolina Coast, to the Mountains, to home and our community God’s blessings surround us. God has given us the blessings of church, family and friends, of nature and rest or recreation as part of His creation. It would do well for us to remember this day what the Lord God has to say about His creation. Do you remember His words recorded in the book of Genesis? They are just as true today. After each moment of creation, we find God responding with this reaction: “AND GOD SAW THAT IT WAS GOOD”. Are those words not a wakeup call to us? Do these words not tell you something? It should. It should vibrate in our souls and remind every one of us of something we often forgot in the chaos and weariness of life. We need to remember that there is so much good in this world and we need to notice it, rejoice in it, enjoy it, share it and celebrate it. For this is a day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Amen? Amen.