CAUGHT OFF GUARD

CAUGHT OFF GUARD
By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

 Push the rewind button some fifteen years back.
We’re headed for a visit to see my Dad in the pines and dense forest of northern Minnesota; land of a thousand lakes, host to an unlimited fishing supply.
Our suitcases are brought in and our fishing poles come out; there’s still a few hours left of the evening and we decide to try our luck.
We’re a small fishing trio: my Dad, son Joshua, and myself.
We scan the familiar lake and silently identify our fishing posts and go our separate ways.
I drop my line in and I know that my Dad thinks I’ve chosen a poor fishing place. He can’t help himself … and he approaches me with unsolicited advice,
“Move anywhere, Doll (dad’s nickname for me,) but move on. You’re not going to catch anything here, the fish don’t bite in places like this.”
Bother and bugger on that ...
A note of mutual irritability is silently exchanged between us;
I remain intent on my humble fishing base and say nothing.
-----
I cast out my line again aimlessly, and enjoy the peace and quiet afforded me in this hidden, serene, out of the way place.
Content, cool, feet in the water and mind far away;
A serious jerk on my line and I’m caught off guard and almost lose my rod.
An unexpected shout escapes me, my Dad and Joshua hear me over the water, and come running.
There’s a Northern on the other end;
He’s an able fighter, strong, healthy, challenging.
So am I … and a battle ensues between the Northern and I.
My Dad is giving directives and my son is anxiously holding the net.
The three of us are fully engaged,
 and finally …
he’s mine.
I reel him in and admire his thrashing fight to the finish.
-----
Joshua, the ever prepared seasoned fisherman, equipped with a large tackle box, countless fishing lures, and an excellent knowledge and understanding of fishing technique is muttering under his breath,
“Unbelievable.”
Pretty much is.
My Dad is proud and forgets his previous reprimand, and is already revising history in a notable way. He takes my Northern to the main office for a weigh-in.
Hmmm …
Who would’ve guessed?
I just landed the biggest catch of the season.
An unseasoned individual, an unlikely place, and an amazing catch!
I won’t mention the size of the fish;
Just know that it beats the size of yours by an ounce and an inch.
What a great and unexpected evening!
-----
I cannot help but be internally amused as I watch my father and Joshua retire from their chosen stations and select a new environment closer to mine and akin to the environment I mindlessly selected.
-----

And the point made:
Sometimes God takes us by surprise in a similar way.
Sometimes when we least expect it and least deserve it,
God does a God thing in our ordinary lives.
He sends a big fish our way, in some form, and temporarily jars us out of our routine.
He invites us to experience the extraordinary in an ordinary moment:
-Moses and the burning bush.
-David’s call from the sheepfold.
-Hannah’s fortified womb.
-Mary’s call to carry the Christ.

-----
God doesn’t do marvelous things because we’re marvelous people.
He does marvelous things because He’s a marvelous God.
He doesn’t need a big tackle box or equipped individuals;
Sometimes God gives the biggest catch of the day to the unqualified,
Unlikely,
Unchosen,
Unsuspecting.
He does God like things to “ungodly” like people,
Just because He’s God.
God’s a living wonder that pulls us under,
And takes us deeper.
A curious mystery ...
But so is most everything about Him.
-----
“Now unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us.”
Ephesians 3:20