Chicago,USA
eric@altarflyfishing.org

CONFESSING A “BLOW UP”

MERGING FAITH AND FLY FISHING INTO A COMMON STREAM

I could not believe that I did it again!  Coming upon a great hole on the stream that HAD to hold fish.  Eager to peer into the clear water I walked up to the spot beside the stream and BOOM…fish scattered everywhere.  I had committed one of the fly fishing cardinal sins…I had blown up a hole.  Even when you are catching fish all day, it feels horrible to blow up a great hole.  It is even worse when you are having a particularly hard day on the stream!    

Never is it easy to admit when we mess up, blow up, fail, or ruin our chances at an opportunity, be it fishing or in life.  One of the hardest things to admit is when we “blow up” what could have been something good.  Our tendency is to blame something or someone instead of naming our own stuff, which we can call sin. 

I have stayed angry at myself for a long time when I have ruined a fishing opportunity…and I have had a hard time confessing or naming my mistakes, errors, and sins in life.  What about you?

There have been times, however, when I owned my blow ups which allowed something different to emerge in me—forgiveness from God and forgiving myself—which often led to transformation (a change in thinking or behavior).    

As Easter approaches, perhaps we take a moment and admit where we have blown up holes in our lives.  Like seeing fish scatter, there is really no place to hide from God—he knows us well and sees all of us, inside and out.  1 John 1:8-9 says:

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

The grace of God in fishing is that He will bring the fish back in 20 minutes or so and the hole is ready to fish again.  The grace of God in life is that He continues to move toward you, ready to forgive and restore you—in fact he promises to do this.  And a restored life can be a powerful life…but it takes dying to self (confessing and naming our mistakes, sin, and limitations) in order to receive what God has in store for you.

So, in this season of humility, take some time to admit the holes you have blown up and when you come to that next stretch of promising water, do well to live and move wisely.

FOR REFLECTION

  • As we prepare for Good Friday and Easter, Read Psalm 51 and 1 John 1:5-10.
  • Take some time to pray, confessing your blow ups (or as the Bible calls it sin).
  • Be assured that God hears your prayers and forgives your sin.  Allow yourself to be forgiven and open yourself for God to restore your soul and purify you.
  • One last thing…Be careful the next time you see the next prime fishing spot.