One of my favorite all time book titles is Everything I Needed to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten. Well, by the time you are reading these words, I should be standing in a stream in Colorado with a fishing pole in my hand. So, maybe there is a better title: Everything I Really Needed to Know, I Learned With a Fishing Pole in My Hand.
Since not everyone is as enthusiastic about fishing as I am, perhaps I should update you all on a few “fishing facts.” For example, did you know that one of the very first books printed after the Gutenberg Bible was a book on fishing? It seems that a nun in 1496 wrote about how to make rods, use natural baits and even how to tie artificial flies. (I couldn’t find it on Kindle).
In the US today, there are about 60 million anglers. This sport brings in about 46 billion in retail sales every year. And fishing has an amazing impact on the economy. It supports 828,000 jobs and if it were a corporation, it would rank 51 on the Fortune 500 list.
And did you know that there is a College fishing championship? (Alabama didn’t win this year…it was Louisiana-Monroe who took home the $30,000 check and bragging rights!)
But I digress, back to my point: Everything I really needed to know, I did learn with a fishing pole in my hand. Things like:
Respecting my elders. My Dad taught me to fish. He taught me to clean and eat what I killed. He explained the difference in rods and lures and bait and most everything else of importance in life.
Patience. As Dad would say, “Catching is a whole lot more fun than fishing.” But most of the time I spend with a rod in my hand, I am fishing and waiting and waiting. It’s a great way to slow down some and rest.
Appreciation for God’s creation. It is hard to fish in the middle of Wal-Mart or on the freeway. You have to get outside somewhere and soon you will begin to notice things like trees, grass, woods, babbling brooks and wet rocks. These are all wonderful representatives of the rest of God’s creation. Sure doesn’t take long to make me appreciate it all a bit more.
Desire to learn. Almost every time I go out with a rod and reel, I learn something new. It may be about bait, or the movement of water, or the way to tell if a storm is coming or what kind of fish are good eating. But I always learn something new. Good life habit.
The value of silence. Even if I am fishing with family or friends, it is mostly a quiet exercise. Somehow the lack of words always creates an atmosphere of wholesomeness. I just feel good in the stillness.
So bottom line, this week I am out learning some more good stuff. You can join me. Poles are cheap!
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel