Monday, March 05, 2007

Presbyterian News Service: Ministry tries making fishers of men

Presbyterian News Service: Ministry tries making fishers of men
"HUNTSVILLE, AL — Jesus called his first disciples away from their fishing nets, but a new group in Madison County is calling Christians and seekers down by the riverside.

Flyfishers of Men, a fairly informal school of new and experienced flyfishers, both men and women, believe that the practice of wading into beautiful streams, fly rod in hand, can help a person catch more than fish. ..."

I get altogether too few opportunities to get out into clear streams, but I treasure it every time. Kay Campbell of Religion News Service has captured much of the allure of fly fishing in this article picked up by Presbyterian News Service.

Fishing with artificial flies slows you down. You see things you might not ordinarily see. Herons, kingfishers, beavers, minks, even otters are regular denizens of my favorite spring-fed creek. There is plenty of time for contemplation, and the natural beauty of the creek and its watershed provide an atmosphere that leads me inexorably to a sense of God's presence.

I know that God is present in all the activities and locations of life, but I have to say that getting away from the day-to-day distractions, even if it is only for a day, is a spiritually rejuvenating experience for me.

One of my favorite books is "A River Runs Through It" by Norman Maclean (1902-1990. It was made into a pretty good movie in 1992, but the book (as is often the case) is far better. It starts off like this:
"In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing. We lived at the junction of great trout rivers in western Montana, and our father was a Presbyterian minister and a fly fisherman who tied his own flies and taught others. He told us about Christ's disciples being fishermen, and we were left to assume, as my brother and I did, that all first-class fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly fishermen and that John, the favorite, was a dry-fly fisherman. ..."

Maclean, who was an English professor at the University of Chicago, wrote with great sensitivity about his family, Montana, his experiences working for the US Forest Service and various other topics.

I gotta get out there and fish......

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