I have yet to engage in some serious river fishing this spring. I have been especially busy and it will be at least 2 more weeks until I can jump in my little boat and float down the river. That doesn’t mean that my outdoor activities have stopped; only the ones that involve fish and game. My garden still needs tending and thankfully I am able to do a little cycling with some friends and see some new scenery. But the possibilities that lay ahead are exciting. One of my plans is to gather up a few younger guys and have a night of camping, fishing, eating, and just some all-around fun (with a purpose). That is, I need to do a little mentoring with some 20-something guys and I don’t know of a better place or way to do it than around a campfire with a little fish frying on a makeshift grill. The lure of these kinds of outdoor activities are nearly impossible to resist for a young man, and it gives me a captured audience. Not only are the fish tasty, but the lessons are easily swallowed as well, when the surroundings are so pleasing.
I’ve noticed that a fishing boat is one of the best couches for therapy. It is impossible to count all the times my fishing partner or I have leaned on each other for advice or for simply someone to bounce something off of. Many times the lull in the action spikes the desire to ask for answers that are not always easy to find. A fishing friend is always good for a second opinion.
While my mentoring trip may not be boat worthy, it will nevertheless be an adequate place to impart some helpful knowledge to those who are trying to make sense out of a sometimes, senseless world. These young men need me. Yea, I said it; they need me. I don’t mean to make an arrogant statement nor do I mean to overvalue my worth but I have been where they are and I know where the answers lie. And I know that one day they will remember these moments with a thankful pause. For now that thankfulness will be focused on the event, but one day on the lesson.
I spend much of my life now telling people that creation is God’s compass, pointing everyone to Himself. I have discovered, however, that it is not only His compass but it is perhaps His most effective classroom. It holds the most comfortable chairs, the most advanced audio-visual department, and reverberates the words of the Master Teacher Himself. I simply get to arrange the meeting and direct young ears in how to listen. I am an outfitter, arranging an encounter between these young men and the God of which they desire to pursue. What a job!
Gary Miller; firstname.lastname@example.org