Fishing: The Perfect Hook
The next time your family casts a line into a babbling brook, off the side of a boat or into the waves at the seashore, reel them in by drawing parallels between fishing and faith. After all, many of Jesus’ closest friends were fishers by trade. Jesus told His apostles that they would be fishers of men. Many great conversations took place between Jesus and His disciples while fishing or over a fish meal on the beach, some recorded in the Bible, some not. You can do the same. Fishing is a great opportunity for the participants to have no-pressure conversations.
Many of the miracles Jesus performed happened near or on the water — walking on water, the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes, the apostles pulling in a net overflowing with fish after a long day of catching nothing at all. With God, all things are possible!
Fishing is a sport that requires patience and persistence in order to be successful. These are important virtues for life as well. It also requires quietness and stillness, the very same posture need to place ourselves before the Lord.
Perhaps no other summer family activity brings us closer to God’s creation than camping, in which we eat, play and sleep in the great outdoors. While pitching tents, think about the people in the Old Testament who spent their lives in canvas abodes and appreciate more fully our less-nomadic lifestyle. This is an opportunity to help one another and to appreciate both giving and receiving.
During hikes through hilly forests observe God’s handiwork everywhere, from the smallest ant to the largest redwood tree, and marvel at how all of life sustains itself perfectly, thanks to the Master.
Building a campfire can evoke stories of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit, in the form of tongues of fire, descended upon the apostles’ heads and they became “on fire” for the Lord. Is our family on fire for the Lord? If not, how can it be?
Gazing upon the stars, recall how God promised Abraham that his descendents would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. And, finally, snuggling in sleeping bags, remember how the Son of Man had no place to lay His head. How many people are sleeping tonight without a pillow and blanket? Remember them?
Summer family activities are chock-full of potential insights relevant to our Catholic spirituality — if we look at them through the eyes of faith — and can lead to lifelong memories. How many creative ideas can you and your family think of?
Elizabeth Ficocelli is a Catholic author of fifteen books for adults and young people, a national speaker, and host of the radio program, “Answering the Call.” For more information, please visit www.elizabethficocelli.com
Published in Take Out, Family Faith on the Go (OSV), Summer 2007