I was at the sportsman show last night and I was reminded of just how big of a business hunting and fishing have become. I looked around at the advertising and the pricing and began wondering about our pursuits. Outdoorsman are passionate in their pursuit of fish and game. Some guys will lay everything on the line in order to bag that trophy. The amount of time it takes, the high cost involved....it has become an obsession for so many.
I understand that to a degree. Fishing for salmon and steelhead used to be my first love. Honestly there was a time when I was so enamored with the thrill of catching fish and helping others catch fish that I literally pursued that more than I pursued any other thing in my life. My relationship with Christ, my relationship with my wife and my two young kids at the time. If I wasn't fishing I was planning my next trip. Reading magazines, books, fishing websites, tying up gear, watching fishing shows on TV. It was rather pathetic looking back.
We really need to keep our outdoor pursuits in check. When do they cross the line and become addictions, or fuel that feeds the ego rather than solice in the wild and time to reflect and catch up on time with God? It can be a two edged sword because it is so easy to get drawn into the things we love....good wholsome things even....that can end up wreaking havoc in our lives.
How about pursuing our relationships with the same passion that we pursue hunting and fishing? Or maybe with even more gusto.
You know what I have discovered since breaking free of my addiction to fishing? I really love spending time with God out there and enjoying my time whether I'm catching fish or not. I've discovered that spending time with my wife and pursuing her heart is fun. I actually am finding joy in just sitting and talking with her about the day, about the kids, whatever. I've fallen in love with her in a way I never even thought possible when I was in 'fish mode.' In fact fishing used to be a way for me to get away from her because of all the conflict. Actually, the truth is that fishing made me feel like a man and I felt way less than that around her because of my lack of pursuit. I know....sad. She is an amazing women and I'm glad I finally got around to discovering that on a deeper level.
Spending time with my kids is priceless and helping them to pursue their dreams and the adventures that God has for them is really rewarding. To think what I could be missing with them if I hadn't changed almost breaks my heart.
As Valentines Day nears (It is Monday if you forgot. Thank me later) I think it would be good for all of us to reflect what we are spending our time and energy and money pursuing. Because what we pursue says a lot about our heart. Our wives, our children and our Savior must come first.