Whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. —Proverbs 3:12 (kjv)
I took up fly fishing as a young man. There’s something magical about the rod creating beautiful loops that sail the fly on a long arc. If luck is with you, the fly will land gently on a calm drift where a perfect trout awaits. Later, reading A River Runs Through It and discovering my commonality with the author, Norman Maclean, who was also the son of a minister, I was hooked for life.
I longed to share this passion for fly fishing with my son, Harrison, and chose my birthday as the ideal time for our first outing together. In preparation, we practiced casting for hours in the backyard.
We drove to a secluded place on the river, put on our waders, and slogged through the stream to the first fishing hole. I could sense Harrison’s nervousness as he began to cast out his line. “Over there, H!” I pointed to a trout near the opposite bank. He quickly lifted up his line, attempting to get it close. But the fly landed too hard and the fish darted away.
“Harrison, you need to be a little gentler in your cast.” I badly wanted him to get a fish, but I didn’t want to be so bossy that he wouldn’t want to keep trying.
We spotted another fish, and Harrison cast again. But when the trout rose to sip in the fly, Harrison was too slow and missed hooking the fish. “Harrison, you need to try to be quicker.” Again, I caught myself. He won’t love this if you criticize him.
He didn’t give up though. Finally a few tries later, Harrison hooked his first fish. He marveled over the beauty of the rainbow trout and then set it free and looked at me. For a long moment, he didn’t say a word and then, “Wow, Dad, can we come back on my birthday?”
Father, help me find Your perfect balance between correcting and loving.
Digging Deeper: Proverbs 10:1, 23:24
Reprinted with permission from Daily Guideposts 2016. Copyright © 2016 by Guideposts. All rights reserved.
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