Are we admirers or users?
Let me explain myself here. I have recently purchased a couple of very old fishing rods from a friend whose father just passed away and was trying to clean out his estate. I’m looking them over and think to myself, “Am I going to fish these rods or not?” The manufacturers, as I came to find out, are on the higher end of the rod spectrum. The rods are still in immaculate condition and a HUGE thank you to the family that let me break them off of the entire collection. So the question was still posed in my mind, was I going to use these purchases in the way that they were purposed and manufactured for, or was I going to let them sit in a corner and admire them from my comfy chair?
I don’t know how to express the dilemma that was wracking my system the night I wrestled with this conundrum. The only thing that I can relate it to is what I have been going through professionally. So let me explain further. I have been on a soul-search the likes you cannot believe since the first of 2016. I have read books about career changes, books about success, hundreds of websites and subscribed to every posting that I believe can help me. (By the way, if you don’t know who you are in relation to your vocation, Dan Miller’s 48 Days book/website/community is the absolute best resource in the world http://www.48days.net or http://www.48days.com/ ) I’ve finally started to believe that the purpose of my life is much simpler than I believed even 5 years ago and that I can be successful as the person that I was meant to be. I can behave every day as if I have a resource that someone else needs. I am important to God and my family and I have no reason whatsoever to believe that I cannot accomplish anything that I set my mind to doing, as long as I have a plan of setting goals and the plan of enabling those goals to come to an end. Are my ideas new and fancy? No in fact they borrow from a bygone era, but did they work then and can they work now? I believe that is the question that will be answered by the fruits of my labors 5 years from now.
General Ulysses S Grant once said, near the end of his bout with cancer that, “A man that assumes responsibility for doing a thing, naturally does it in his own way and the result is the only proof that he might be right or wrong.” He said this to one of his doctors who was treating him with the best care possible in his opinion and in the Grant familie’s opinion. The newspapers at the time were glaringly obvious that they distrusted the doctor and said horrible things about him. But General Grant had the humble admiration for this man and tried to make him feel better about the care he was being provided. In so much pain and agony, this great general came to the aid of a man who needed a kind word. He knew his place was to try to help the world discover as much about himself and the world in which he lived. He knew that by writing his Memoirs, he would help the nation heal from the devastations of the war he had managed to win. This driving force kept him alive for much of the struggle he had with cancer. He knew his place!
Now I am starting on the journey to know my place again, and I believe that I have found the path that will lead me there. I have set goals for myself, time lines of accomplishing them, and placed my bets on the simple knowledge that the rest is in God’s hands and timing. It must be like the man who stacks dominoes feels right before the first hits the second. He must hope that he has placed them in an order that they will fall and that the outcome will be as glorious as he has imagined. I am here, anxiously awaiting the first domino to hit the second and see if the layout will come together as I have planned, but I am here because I have a purpose.
So have I fished the rods? One, yes, yes I did! I took it the next day to our favorite camping and fishing place and fished it hard for a couple of stupendous hours. Oh how I fished that rod! It was amazing to “feel” things that I haven’t with other fishing poles. I got so much better response out of my reel, too. The whole experience was so great that it didn’t matter that I didn’t catch the biggest fish of the day. Yeah, go ahead and give me grief, but my wife did. She even got a round of applause from a whole bunch of kids watching her. I think it made her blush and boosted her fishing ego. What made my day even more special was the fact that I could be there with her and help her net the monster, but more than that; that we had made the time to be together and had the opportunity to get away by ourselves. That made the day special!
Was I just an admirer anymore? No, now I am a super-fan of this rod. I will admire it in a public place in our house (mainly because I don’t trust our boys will keep their hands off when they learn to fish or that Jenny will once I beat her to the next biggest fish!) AND I will enjoy using it for many more years!
So get out and enjoy life, figure out what it is you love doing and do it. If you’re here, you like camping and being outdoors. Find something you can do that will make a difference in someone else’s life by helping them. Be yourself! Have fun outdoors! Be an admirer and a user of the greatness of the outdoors! You’ll never regret spending time with the ones you love in the great outdoors. You’ll never regret spending time with your family, period, but the outdoors makes it so much more fun and enjoyable!