By Cassie Glubzinski
The holidays are a time that bring back fond memories to me, and this year the memories are ones of going fishing with my grandfathers.
My mom's dad (Papaw Larry) took my cousin and I fishing infrequently. I remember he would use Wheaties cereal as bait. To this day it cracks me up that Wheaties is my favorite cereal.
[There you go, ladies. With one cereal you can catch a pretty decent sized bass as well as a man who helps with the laundry and dishes!]
Now, my dad's dad (Papaw Roger) lived on a large piece of property, and his house had a deck that overlooked what we called the lake. Really, it was more of an oversized pond, but to a kid it's a lake. He would show my sister and I how to hook a worm, how to cast a line, and then how to wait...
Patience is a virtue that was generously granted to many folks in the world.
I'm not one of those people.
So waiting has never been something I was good at, but I've always had a fondness and an affinity for fishing. I've just changed my bait.
Here's how I now fish:
Me: "Ugh! I'm pretty sure I gained ten pounds since I last went on a run! My jeans are so tight, and I officially have a muffin top."
Friend: "No way! You look fantastic! You've maybe gained an ounce, and that's being generous."
Fished for a compliment, and I got it.
Me: "My kids are completely insane. Sometimes I just look at them and say, 'Seriously, who is your mother?'"
Friend: "Your daughters are incredible! And you're such an amazing mother!"
Fished for affirmation, and I got it.
And one more for the road:
Me: "I have no sense of style. I seem to only be able to wear yoga pants and a tee shirt. Every. Single. Day. Jeans if I am feeling a bit adventurous."
Friend: "You always look so cool and put together! I would never say that about you!"
Fished for a bit of self worth, and guess what? I got it.
Here's the deal, friends, I do sometimes feel down and out. There are days when I feel I'm the worst mother on earth, days when I feel I'm the ugliest creature to walk, and days when I don't think I am worth the love and affection my family (especially my husband) and my friends bestow on me. And so when those days and moments come, I start fishing.
And I'm impatient for it, too. I will repeat my comment multiple times until I hear the words I think I need to hear; the words I think I deserve to hear.
As our family has been going through this time of advent together leading up to this holiday I was struck by how the Lord was working in my heart. Ponder this with me for a moment: God, the Creator of the universe, chose to send His Son, His only child, to earth. Not to be a king in the earthly sense, but to die, a horrible, humiliating and degrading death. And He did it all for us.
For me. For you. For all of us.
Here I am going fishing, and God sent His Son to die for me.
I have some really whacked out priorities.
Now, I'm not saying we shouldn't encourage one another. We absolutely should! God designed people to be with other people, and we need to be lifting one another up in the Spirit.
But I was not designed to fish for compliments, for affirmation, or for human-given self worth. He has already provided me with all of that. When I'm fishing for these things I'm only trying to bring myself up a bit from my inner slump. I'm simply trying to be impressive.
I have been reading great book this week that my sister gave me called "Loving My Actual Life" by Alexandra Kuykendall. In one of the chapters she quotes her pastor saying, "I stopped impressing people a long time ago. I figured out that when I'm busy impressing them, I'm too busy to love them."
In my selfish quest to fish for worldly encouragement and love I have completely missed the mark on loving the people God has placed in front of me.
Jesus was not interested in impressing anyone. He loved them. He was the son of an unwed virgin mother and raised in a humble carpenter's home. He sought out the broken and down-trodden. He befriended the ostracized and outcast. He became a brother to the single orphans and a friend to the friendless. He was, and is, and always will be, all about love.
And here I am, fishing for some sort of affirmation, some bit of self worth, some snippet of a compliment.
Get your head on straight, Cassie.
Jesus himself had actual fishermen follow him. He told them, "Come, and I will make you fishers of men." In other words, "Your casting your net the wrong way. Let me show you how it's done."
How powerful would it be if I simply fished for people to love? What if I chose to fish for the outcasts and the ostracized? What if I started fishing for ways to serve and love on others, rather than ways for them to serve and love on me?
Don't get me wrong, this is a really tough pill for me to swallow. But I need it. I need it everyday.
D.L. Moody was quoted saying, "You impress from afar, but you impact up close."
I know Jesus never tried to impress anyone. He was too busy loving them because of the love he was showing his heavenly Father. But nonetheless, Jesus was impressive. He did many miraculous things, he spoke with great oratorical ability, and he told stories like none other. From afar, he was impressive to many without even trying. And if I'm honest, when I stop trying to be impressive is when I am actually told that I am impressive. Make sense right? Because when I'm not living for me, God shines to bright, and He is the impressive One. Just like Jesus.
Jesus was so very impressive from afar.
But man oh man. He really impacted up close.
So this holiday season I'm going to try to be more like that. I'm going to fish for others, instead of fishing for myself. I'm going to give of myself, because Christ gave me all. I'm going to realize my worth is found in him, and I don't need compliments, I don't need affirmation, and I don't need self-worth that is given from people. It won't last. It never has.
When I realize my worth is found solely in Christ, I'm awestruck by how permanent that can be. I'm praying you will be awestruck, too.
So, what do you say? Wanna go fishing?