Time of Their Lives

On the end of the fishing pier, there were about 20 adolescent boys fishing their hearts out.  There was no talk of school projects or grades.  No talk of girls.  No talk of parents or problems at home.  Just teenage boys razzing each other and slinging fishing rods over the Atlantic Ocean. Every day for the entire summer they were planning to meet at this pier at sunrise and wait for parents to pick them up at sunset.  They were having the time of their lives.

When was the last time you had the time of your life?  Hanging out with friends?  No cares in the world? When was the last time you had the time of your life in your Christian walk?

While in High School, I had the time of my life every summer for a week at church camp. Started the mornings with a nature walk chat with God and prayer time in small groups followed by group Bible Studies in between playing in the pool during the days, ending with worship songs and smores around a campfire in the evenings.  Learning the Word and praising God, while hanging out with my closest friends in the foothills of Mt. Hood, Oregon.

When we’re having the time of our lives, do we even recognize it? Do we know we’re in a moment that won’t ever be recreated? Do those boys know that they are living their best lives getting tan and fishing with one another every day of the summer? Did I know that I was having the time of my life at a summer church camp?

In the months leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion, did the disciples know that they were in a space of time with Christ that could never be recreated? Did they recognize the miracles, the travel, the teachings, even the rebuking for what it was? It was the time of their lives.

They may have missed it.  Just like the boys on the fishing pier this summer.  Just like me at summer camp.

As summer becomes fuller with activities, I’m praying that you are taking a moment to recognize what is happening around you. Are you living in a moment where you are having the time of your life?

~Emily

Fishing

Fishing Practice

It does not matter how many times my husband shouts “Ten and Two” while we are fly fishing, I’m still going to mess it up. I get the line tangled in the branches behind me.  I lose the fly or leader.  I’m still unsteady on moss covered rocks thigh deep in moving water, so I slip on the rocks and end up with freezing cold water inside my waders.

For whatever reason, I have a hard time casting the fly rod.  My husband on the other hand is graceful and fruitful with a fly rod.  I’ve been fly fishing about half a dozen times annually for the last 5 years and often get frustrated with the sport.  He’s been fly fishing every day for the last 30 years and adores it above all other forms of fishing.

The reason I’m having a hard time casting the fly rod?  Probably because I’m not practicing enough.  The reason my husband is amazing at it?  Probably because he practices every day.

Here, sweet friends, is where I struggle spiritually. I’m not practicing all the time.  I go through seasons where I feel much closer to the Lord than other times. There are times that I’m faithful to a strong prayer life and there are other times that I wean away from prayer.  I have seasons where I’m immersed in the word daily…and other times where my Bible is opened only on Sunday.

I frankly don’t practice enough.

If you are feeling the same way, I’d like to offer encouragement.  I think each of us has room to practice more in our relationship with God.  Each of us could improve some aspect of our spiritual walk.  None of us, on this side of heaven, has perfected our faith life.

Paul tells us in Philippians 4:9 “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you.”

From childhood many of us have heard the phrase “practice makes perfect.”  While I may not agree with the “perfect” portion of that phrase, I do agree that practice certainly brings better performance.

Just as fall has arrived in the South, I now have an opportunity to practice fly fishing more.  And in the next weeks, I’m going to focus on prayer as a place I need to practice more faithfully in order to draw closer to God.

What do you want to start practicing more?

~Emily

Fly Fishing2