Growing up in Oklahoma, we had Fall Break in October and “snow make up days” in April, if we didn’t use any snow days throughout the winter months. Dad and I took many trips, just the two of us, to Broken Bow in southeastern Oklahoma on these school breaks. It is a four hour drive from Oklahoma City, so we had eight hours in the car together. Often Dad would pick me up from school with the car packed and loaded with all our fishing gear.
These memories of riding in the car together, chatting about life, and catching some of the best fish this state has to offer are mementos that I will treasure forever. I also learned some valuable life lessons. Here are just a few:
1. Patience makes a day go better.
Slow down and don’t be in such a rush, just to get to the next “thing.” We once caught the daily limit in 30 minutes, but that was not the norm! Some days we fished all day and didn’t fill the ice chest. I learned that if I wanted to take home a mess of fish, and enjoy the time doing it, I needed to have patience with the process. Today, that lesson translates to taking time to enjoy each season of life. Whether you’re in a season of despair or joy, of plenty or in want, be patient with yourself along the way. They may not all be “catching our limit” kind of days, but God can help us be patient in life and enjoy His daily blessings...if we allow him.
2. Always be prepared.
When headed out on the lake, Dad always made sure we had plenty of fishing line, lures, sunscreen, hats, snacks, and rain gear “just in case.” The principle of always being prepared has translated to so many areas of my life, but none more important than the spiritual impact of day to day living. We can be prepared by memorizing scripture to combat Satan on our darkest days. Be prepared by knowing how to open our Bible with a friend in need. Be prepared to help others when they can’t help themselves.
3. Plan special times one-on-one with those you love.
There is something about the one-on-one dynamic that truly makes a person feel loved. You have time to talk and share your hearts. You have time to participate in an activity together when you aren’t pulled in multiple directions from other people. At the time, I didn’t realize how much planning, money, and effort went into our fishing trips. I just knew that I enjoyed spending one-on-one time with Dad. As an adult, I appreciate and cherish those times even more because I know how much energy went into planning our time together. Living out this one-on-one principle continues in my life today with my husband, my son, and still meeting my dad for some one-on-one lunches.
As I reflect on the time I got to spend with Dad fishing on Broken Bow Lake, I am reminded of Luke 2:19. Luke 2 is Jesus’ birth narrative, with the first 18 verses describing miraculous events leading up to His birth—events like angels descending from heaven in triumphal song and shepherds being led by a star. Then verse 19 tells us, “Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.” Memories are special treasures that we can ponder any time we want and I am so thankful for the memories and life lessons from fishing at the lake with Dad.
Meet the Author!
Kim Arnold has been a church member of Council Road Baptist Church for nearly 25 years. She teaches private piano lessons in her studio and at Mid-America Christian University. Her passion lies in training up the next generation of worship leaders. Kim and her husband Jason have been married for 17 years and have a 12-year old son, Nolan.