There’s an old preacher’s story (which means it’s probably not true) that goes like this:
A man once spoke at his father’s funeral. He talked about what a great father his dad had been. In particular, he talked about a day his dad and he spent fishing when he was 10 years old. He told of the drive to the lake, the life-lessons his dad shared while they fished from the row-boat, the picnic lunch they shared, how great the fish tasted they fried over a campfire that evening, the drive home, etc. He vividly and emotionally described every detail, including the exact date of the fishing trip. It was a life-changing day he would never forget. His story touched everyone at the funeral.
Weeks later, as family members cleaned out the dead man’s papers, they ran across his journals. Remembering the story his son told at the funeral, they flipped to the date of the fishing trip. The day had made such an amazing impact on the son, they wanted to know what kind of impact it had made on the dad. To their surprise, that day’s entry was very short. It read, “Spent the day fishing with my son. A day totally wasted.”
I know that’s a corny preacher’s story; but even though I heard a preacher tell it many years ago, I still remember it and think of it often when my daughters want me to play catch, jump on the trampoline, go for a walk, or even go fishing.
Paige and Kaleigh are out of school this week for fall break. Honestly, it’s a pain. No other school is out. Their neighborhood and church friends aren’t around. Mimi’s school is still going so she can’t spend extra time with the girls. And since I hate leaving them alone at home all day I’m scrambling to find ways to be with them.
So, the three of us went fishing today. We loaded up our Scooby Doo and Little Mermaid fishing poles and went to Red Dot Pier. For $13 we got a pound of shrimp and 24 hour fishing passes. I cut shrimp, baited their lines, and unhooked the fish they caught. . . 17 in all. (They probably would have caught more but when the girls weren’t looking I threw some of their bait into the water. . . otherwise we would have been there forever!!). Later, the three of us went to eat at our favorite restaurant, and then we went home and played video games.
Now, after several washes, I can still smell fish on my hands, the girls are sleeping deeply, and I’m up late preparing for a guest preaching gig I’ve got coming up.
I don’t know if they’ll remember this day years from now or not; but I know I will. Will it be a life-changing moment in their lives? I doubt it. But I know it was definitely NOT a day totally wasted.