Small Beginnings: Fundamental skills are the foundation for success

For those of you who read this column frequently, you may recall the story of my greatest grilling failure ever? The squash debacle as we have come to refer to it? Well, one of the contributing factors in the way that particular memory making moment developed was the fact that my husband and I took some time to go fishing in the afternoon.

We enjoy fishing very much but sadly have been way too busy lately to have any energy left even for fishing! Not that fishing requires a great deal of exertion, itís just the effort that you need to make to gather your supplies, change into your fishing clothes, and drive to the fishing hole. Sometimes even that feels like too much effort.

On the evening in question, we took some time to do all of these things and found ourselves at one of our favorite fishing holes not too far from home. This spot is a little off the beaten path so you have to walk down into the woods a quarter mile, rappel down the bank using some ropes and then set yourself up on this slanty rock that juts out in the water. The rock is probably better described as a ledge because it is sloped and barely big enough for two people!

One of the tricky things about fishing in general and fishing here in particular is the way we have to constantly be aware of what the other person is doing to be sure one does not interfere with the other in such close quarters. This is especially imperative during the casting process. I know this all too well, because much of the time that night I found myself entangled in various impediments.


Casting is one of those fundamental skills associated with fishing that can make or break the experience. In addition to being quite rusty since I havenít been out fishing much, I am also clearly in need of some casting practice. Thereís some real eye-hand coordination involved because you have to release the bail on your reel at just the right moment so that your bait and hook can fly away at the optimum angle and land in the water in the target zone. Couple that delicate balance with the fact that we were surrounded by overhanging branches and in close proximity to one another on a small outcropping of rock with a very narrow target zone and youíve got trouble.

The rock I have been describing creates a great fishing hole because the water flowing around it develops a back eddy and consequently has created a fairly deep hole that holds some big fish. They stay in that area because the eddy also funnels food towards them in a natural way so when our bait comes floating by ever so innocently, they are primed to bite. So you see how important it is especially in this situation to carefully aim exactly where you want your bait to land and to cast accurately.

Unfortunately, my system of casting goes much more like this: wind up, swing, release the bail and cross your fingers. As long as Iím in the water, I consider it success. However, I would say at least forty percent of the time that night I was in a tree or on the bank, wrapped around vegetation and needing to be rescued by my patient husband. He gives me little coaching tips and advice on how to cast, but I still struggle to be as accurate and smooth as he is with this important part of the system.

As we fished that night, I was reflecting on the importance of a good cast and it got me thinking. Casting is a part of everyday life, not just fishing. God tells us in the Bible to cast all our anxiety and cares on Him, because He cares for us. This is another type of casting skill we need to possess if we are going to have success in life. Life is tough and we were not designed to carry its load on our feeble human shoulders. We need to trust God even when the way is uncertain and believe that He is in control. So practice your casting my friends. Start today with your burdens and then maybe tomorrow, go do some fishing.