The Berks-Mont News (

Everything I know about life I learned from fishing

By Lisa Schappell, Columnist

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Okay, well maybe not everything, but Iíve definitely learned quite a few life lessons from the innocent pastime of fishing. In fact I learned a few new ones today. Today I had the pleasure of spending the entire day fishing in the mountains with my husband. Perhaps that doesnít sound appealing to some of you, but for me, it was a true delight. We had planned the day to be a respite and recreation. Little did I know there was some education to be had as well.
Spending a day fishing in the mountains requires a bit more preparation that a basic trip to Kaercher Creek. In addition to all the customary fishing tackle that is always required for success, we also had to remember the waders, a cooler full of ice for our catch, changes of clothes because waders are not appropriate dress attire even for Wendyís, the camera and an assortment of helpful tools and accessories that were needed just in case. This means that just getting ready for a relaxing day can feel a lot like work. Whatís with all this energy expended just so we can get away from it all? Well here lies lesson number one: itís worth the effort. Those moments of investing blood, sweat and tears into a big event, project or goal can often leave us feeling frustrated and irritated. Donít let that extra effort trick you into giving up before you enjoy the blessing. Itís right around that next bend in the road.
As we trudged off into the woods, my dear husband asked me where I wanted to fish. As in what stream or hole would I recommend where we could catch some fish? Really? This is like asking my Grandma which social media site she prefers. I didnít have a clue! I happily deferred to his wisdom and blissfully allowed him to take the lead and choose our fishing spots. Here then is lesson number two: let experience lead. No matter who we are, we often like to be in charge and call the shots, but each of us has places in our lives where others have walked this path before us and we can gain so much by following their lead and leaning on their strength. Very quickly behind this one then came lesson number three: mentor a newbie. Who falls within your own sphere of influence and can benefit from your know-how? Find that person and begin pouring into them. Make a difference in someone elseís life. Maybe you should even teach someone how to fish?
So there we were in this gorgeous crisp air, drinking in the sun and tossing our lines into the creek. Content and serene as could be, I would have been happy to stay at this spot for hours, but my tour guide kept urging me to move along. Get out into the stream he said. Cross to the other side he coaxed. Follow me down the trail, around the bend, through the thicket, under the briers, over the log and past the swampy muck to the even BETTER fishing hole. The hole with two huge palomino trout cruising around teasing us. Suddenly appears lesson number four: donít settle. If you fall into contentment, you will surely be missing out on a great adventure. It may require you to face a challenge or two and some of them may even be a bit dangerous, but much like lesson number one thereís a blessing coming. It just might be right around the next bend in the river.
These are actually just a few of the lessons I learned today while enjoying the most spectacular nature therapy ever. Oh, thereís just one more: school is still in session. You might think youíre getting ready for summer vacation when in reality God has a few things to speak to your heart if youíll pay attention. Donít miss the lessons and be sure to do your homework because trust me, one day there will be a test on this material!