Today I was paddling on my own while one of my friends was taking the beginner SUP class. As I was heading into the river I noticed a man fishing from the river bank. Problem was, he had lost one of his fishing poles, and was using his remaining pole to try to fish the lost one out of the water. He wasn't having any luck as it kept getting further away from him. I tried to get it for him with my paddle, but the fact that I was heading downstream and would have to get into an area of shallow water to retrieve it, it just wasn't possible without falling off the board near some rocks. I apologized for not being able to help and continued on my way.
Later, as I turned around to head upstream back to the marina, I spotted the fishing pole. It had floated to a deeper area of the river where I was now able to easily maneuver my board and safely pull it out of the water. I tucked the pole under the cargo bungees and headed back to where I first found the fisherman, hoping he was still there. He was there, and was happy to see his fishing pole again. Because of its length, I was able to hand it over to him without getting too close to the shallow edges of the bank.
There are a lot of things in this life I want to find. Things I've lost, things I'm still looking for. But something I am at peace with is that it will happen in God's perfect timing. It will occur when it doesn't have to be forced. It will be at the right time and in the right place. The second time I saw the fishing pole, it was so much easier for me to get it because this time it was floating toward me instead of away from me. I didn't have to try to go after it.
Yes, paddling upstream exerts a little more energy and discipline, but when you're looking up toward God, you can see that every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father (James 1:17). When you're looking down or heading in the wrong direction, or even spending time in shallow waters, you're likely to stumble and fall (Matthew 7:13-14).
Luke 5 New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Calls His First Disciples1 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,[a] the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.