“You’ve got to change your thinking.” Those were the last words spoken by Rob Purdy on Friday evening of the recent Blast & Cast Men’s Ministries Matagorda event.
I wasn’t sure exactly how it was going to affect me, but I knew it would. You see, I haven’t been to an event yet that I haven’t grown. Grown as a man, a Christian, a father, a leader, a friend, and even a husband. This event was no different.
What were we doing wrong?
It all started Saturday morning. I was set to do some kayaking. I had never kayaked in the marsh, so I was pretty excited. The kayakers had really gotten into the fish the day before and that was exactly what I needed. A good day of fishing. My last few adventures weren’t that successful, so I admit I had visions of us catching a few fish. We got on the water and the new guys who were borrowing kayaks were out front, with the seasoned guys in the back. We were told to go out a ways and turn at a duck blind and then we were left to find our own way.
It wasn’t that hard, but we were certainly a bit confused. We made the turn and the other guys met back up with us. We got to the spot and were told what the plan was. We were going to drift the back lake and stay as a group. That never happened. We spread out and none of the boats drifted at the same speed. So we all ended up paddling back and forth at different times. One guy just went around and hit all the hot spots. It was kind of chaos. But the seasoned guys were catching fish, and us new guys weren’t. We were drifting the same water, using the same bait (we think) and using the same method. However, we weren’t catching fish like they were. So we asked them what we were doing wrong and we were told “nothing”.
How can that be? We fished a couple of hours and just didn’t catch like they did. It became frustrating. We all know how to fish. But there is always that one thing that sometimes makes a difference. So after several drifts and several attempts to hit likely spots, I had managed to catch four hard heads, a rat red, and one keeper flounder. Now I don’t know why, but the other two new guys hadn’t caught a fish at all. I was feeling dejected and a bit out of sorts. Finally, there was a moment when all the kayaks met at the same spot and we (the new guys) started asking questions about what we were doing wrong. These guys all had fish on their stringers. It had to be something. But still no answer.
I had to change my thinking…
And then it hit me. I’ve got to change my thinking. I’m not going to worry about what bait, or how deep, or what speed. I said a quick prayer asking for forgiveness, and that I was changing my thinking. So while the group was still talking, I decided I was going out to catch some fish and I was bound and determined to have some fun. Why? Because I wasn’t worried about what they were doing, or that they were catching fish and I wasn’t. So I left the group talking and I think I heard one person say as I was leaving, “Do y’all want to fish some more or head in?” I was out far enough away that I doubt anyone could hear me, but I said I was “going to make another run.” Except for this time I had changed my thinking.
I wasn’t thinking about whether I was going to catch some fish or not. I wasn’t thinking about what I was doing wrong. And I wasn’t thinking about how I hadn’t caught anything while the others had.
I was thinking, “I’m going to have some fun.” Most of all I quit thinking about me. I thought about the message, about God, and about spending time in His creation.
I went to a spot and caught a rat red. Then another. Then I got out into the main lake area—the same area I had drifted for the past couple of hours and had only caught hard heads. And I caught a rat red. Then I lost a good red, and finally stuck a keeper red. I made a couple more drifts and caught a couple more rat reds but decided I should probably get back.
Catching fish and having fun…
The group had left me out there alone, but I didn’t mind. I was catching fish and I was having fun. I started working my way back and saw some reds in the shallow water, but didn’t get bit. I rounded the corner and realized the wind was perfect to drift me right to the launch. So I stopped paddling and started fishing. Mind you, I’m 500 yards from the lodge! I can see people coming and going. Unbeknownst to me, they were watching me too. I caught several more rat reds and actually paddled back and made another drift. By the time I hit the launch, my change of thinking had gotten me a good red for the stringer and a handful of rat reds that were a blast to catch. I had changed my thinking and I was having fun!
Now let me say that the kayak guys were great. It’s certainly not their fault we didn’t catch any fish. It’s fishing and sometimes it just happens that way. They brought their kayaks, lent them out to strangers, and did everything to make sure we were okay. I just let myself focus too much on their instruction and forgot why I was really there – to enjoy being in God’s creation and have fun catching fish while doing it.
This was only my first time to change my thinking and it paid off. How could I use that in my everyday life? How can Jesus change our lives, if we just change our thinking? 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” I was getting frustrated in the marsh because I was focusing on everyone else and their success. That was a flesh weapon. But when I changed my thinking, and focused on God, I had fun and caught fish. I will remember that not just when I’m trying to catch fish, but in other areas of life. God is bigger than the stuff that gets in the way of me seeing Him. I just have to remember to change my thinking.
Gentlemen, I think it’s time. Change your thinking. Change the way you think about your struggles and problems and with that different thinking, you’ll probably see different results.
God’s blessings on your new way of thinking.
*Today’s post is by Damian Peckenpaugh.
photo credit: Coram Deo “Living Before The Face of God” If we are in Christ, our sins will never be held against us on the day of judgment. In Christ, we are truly free from condemnation. That is a cause for great rejoicing. via photopin (license)