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On the Journey

100 Casts

A friend asked me what I would be doing for a holiday break. I told her I planned to work. With phones quiet and colleagues off, I dreamed of what I could accomplish. The check marks on my completed to-do list would be beautiful. Few things bring me as much joy.

My friend kindly challenged my plans and told me I needed to take a break and get away. I begrudgingly agreed to take a few days off. As a treat for my husband, I rented a small fishing cabin a few hours from home.

I already knew the cabin did not have internet. I could probably survive. I did not panic until we were close to the property and realized I had forgotten my e-reader and did not pack a book. What could I possibly do for 48 hours while my husband fished?

I watched from a window his delight at catching fish and tossing them back in the small pond. As the walls of the cabin began to close in, I journeyed outside. There was an extra rod and reel. Maybe I would toss a line in the water a few times.

As I child, I treasured fishing trips with my dad. One time we begged my mom to join us. In a rare moment of weakness, she agreed. My brother and I picked places on the bank of our favorite fishing hole and began to cast.

My dad aimed his lure near a submerged tree with hopes of landing a huge bass. Immediately the hooks buried themselves in the wood. My dad jerked his pole repeatedly, attempting to free the lure. The line did eventually loosen. The lure flew through the air and landed behind my dad, right in my mother’s arm.

After five minutes of fishing, we packed up to seek medical attention. The country doctor was also an angler. Much to my mother’s dismay, the doctor cut around my mother’s arm in an attempt to save my dad’s lure.

As I picked up the rod and reel to begin casting in the middle of the pond, that memory and hundreds more came to mind. I decided I would make 100 casts to see what it would do for my heart. I was surprised the rhythmic turns of the reel melted away my stress. Somewhere after 50, I lost count. Rest became worship.

Missional leaders are tenacious in their quest to accomplish significant things for His kingdom. We feel great urgency with each passing hour. Sometimes I think we sacrifice our very best in favor of continuous activity. We run ragged trying to do things in our own strength and hope somehow it makes a difference and God will be honored.

You may not find rest or joy in making 100 casts, but what would enable you to recover, realign your priorities, and restore your heart and mind? Make a plan to do it soon.

Happy Easter.

Father, help us halt our frantic activity and find rest in You. Still our hearts. Restore our souls. In the name of the risen Christ, amen.

Sandy-Wisdom Martin serves as the executive director/treasurer for national WMU.