When I was little, my dad used to take me fishing all the time. We used to go lake fishing when I was younger, usually to Anaheim Lake for trout, and then deep-sea fishing as I got older. I always loved it. To me, nothing beats a nice, juicy, greasy hamburger while waiting for the fish to strike. But the best part was just hanging with my dad and reeling in those fish.
I remember one time in particular when he took me to Puddingstone Lake in San Dimas for some trout fishing. I must have been all of 10 years old at the time. The fish were biting extremely well that whole day and my dad let me reel in all of them. He would patiently prepare the poles, stake out the spots, put all of our gear out on the lake shore, bait the hook, and help me cast the line out there. When the fish would bite, whether it was on my pole or his, my dad would let me reel it in. In total, we caught 10 fish that day! I was so proud that as soon as we got home, I yelled to my mom, “Guess what? I caught 10 fish today and dad didn’t catch any!”
The truth was my dad had more to do with catching those fish than I did, but I got all the credit – and was happy to take it. But looking back, I realize that I couldn’t have done it without my dad, who never took any of the credit for himself. He just let me relish in the triumph of those fish. Our heavenly Father is like that. He does so much for us and asks for so little in return. In the end, he simply hopes that we love him, we believe in him, and we share the love and grace he gives to us so freely with others.
This month we celebrate Father’s Day – one of my favorite days of the year. I am so grateful to be a father myself and I pray often for God’s guidance in my own struggles with parenthood. I hope that I will leave a lasting impression upon my children as my own father has done for me. Do me a favor and if you are at all thankful for what your fathers – your earthly and your heavenly one – have done for you, let them know it. And don’t just wait for Father’s Day to do it either.