Christianity, Emotional Health, Faith, Family, Fishing, Gratitude, Growing Up, Health, Hope, Letting Go, Marriage, Positive Thinking, Prayer, Recovery, Relationships, Uncategorized

On Dead-ends and Fishing

There’s a steady breeze this morning, making for a pleasant summer morning here on the porch. Margaret is hurting this morning and elected to stay in bed a bit longer leaving me to enjoy the sunshine of the day here in our quiet cul-de-sac by myself. She had two procedures of shots in her back in the last month and the promised relief is nowhere to be found. If anything, the pain is worse. It’s hard to see my wife in pain but she reminded me that ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’, so it we gave it a try.

My quiet was broken this morning by a large tree-trimming truck pulling a wood chipper as it came down the street. Please keep in mind that we live in a cul-de-sac at the end of a long street. Parking is at a premium here and cars on the street make our little circle even smaller. I noticed the look of panic on the truck driver’s face as he slowed and tried to figure out how he was going to negotiate the situation. He made several attempts, growing more frustrated with each one. It was apparent he was in a bit of a pickle. He sat for a moment, thought about it for a bit and soon his passenger climbed out and positioned himself behind the chipper. The driver, reassured by his guide, took a deep breath, repositioned his truck and chipper and backed down the street and went on his way. Problem solved…

I, like the tree truck driver, find myself driving along a road that seems free and clear, and suddenly I find myself facing a dead-end and I can’t get out. Sometimes I just need to stop trying to turn around on my own and back down the way I came. Since I’m not that great at driving in reverse, I need a guide I can trust to show me the way without backing into all the parked vehicles or tree limbs hanging over the street. Fortunately, I have such a guide and I’m blessed to have family and friends who help me stay on the right road. A lot of folks don’t…

The whole scenario reminded me of my youth and fishing trips with Dad. I was notorious for getting my line tangled on something beneath the water. I’d pull and tug until the line popped and came flying back, creating a tangled mess of fishing line that was impossible to straighten out. My father used to tell me to cut my line when it’s caught on something and I’d avoid a tangled mess. I could put on a new hook and get busy fishing again. I was stubborn and wanted to do it my way, so I didn’t spend a lot of time fishing…

I can still be pretty stubborn, even though I don’t like to think so. I don’t think it’s just a ‘guy’ thing that I don’t like to ask for directions. I like to think, or at least let others think, that I have it all under control, that I don’t need help. I’m like the ‘Marlboro Man’ in the old cigarette ads. I can do it and do it my way. Of course, I forget that the ‘Marlboro Man’ died of lung cancer. Independent, strong, and egotistical has their drawbacks…

I am getting better, though. I trust my guide and not only is it easier to back out of dead-ends, it’s become a little easier to avoid them in the first place. I’m willing to stick to the map and ask for directions if I’m having difficulty. I’m willing (most of the time anyway) to stop when the people closest to me sound out a warning. Heck, I’ve even learned to read instructions before I assemble new purchases. I still have parts left over from time to time but it’s usually because they packed extra ones to begin with. Go figure!

I’m learning to ‘cut my line’ and let go of my need for control over situations. I spend a lot more time ‘fishing’ and a lot less time trying to work out the knots and tangles life throws at me. They’ll work themselves out one way or the other. I’m not responsible for, nor can I control, the outcome so why get all worked up? I cast the line, reel it in, and sometimes I get a really big fish…

It’s time to go in and get to work. I’m sure the tree truck dilemma was no coincidence this morning. I have a project that’s proving itself to be somewhat difficult. I needed a reminder that my Guide never steers me wrong. Who knows, maybe I need to ‘cut my line’ and tackle the problem from a different angle. Either way, I’m going to trust my Guide and follow directions. Like the old Zen proverb, I’m going to “cut wood and carry water” and see what happens…

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