My fishing experiences as a youth were either alone or with the gang that made up Ford’s Woods. What I learned about fishing came from the same sources. I can remember as a youth the day I was bit by the “bass” bug. Even though I had never been to the lake, the levee was known to be full of largemouth. And even though it was still in my small town, for a kid who either walked or rode his bicycle everywhere, it was a little further away than I was used to going. One summer morning however, we made the trip to the levee for my first attempt at catching a bass. I don’t exactly remember how I got the information, but I would be using as bait a red plastic worm. That day marked two distinct changes that, to this day, still affect my fishing. First, it brought a love for that particular game fish and second it made me learn to love the plastic worm. I caught five bass on that first day. When I did start going to the lake as an older youth and a young adult, I can never remember not throwing a plastic worm. In fact, that’s the only bait I ever used. While others were cranking and spinning, I was patiently and methodically throwing that worm. It is still my favorite bait today.
Much like that infamous first day of bass fishing there are other markers in all of our lives that changed us forever. Some of those markers were happy moments and some were unhappy and even tragic. But all of them were and are significant. They are significant because when you put them together over the years, you see a pattern and piece of a puzzle. It’s a pattern of how God has worked in our lives even when we didn’t realize he was there. It’s a piece of a puzzle because our lives would not be complete without those markers. Even something as simple as a first fishing trip can become a story you are reading right now. Nothing is insignificant to God. And no pain is wasted. If we let him, he will take every moment of our lives, no matter how good or bad, and use it to make us and the ones around us better. For a Christian it is his promise and that is one more reason to make sure you are. It’s not too late to allow God to make a message from the markers and messes in your life.