Thinking about Jesus while out on the water

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Rev. Walter Klockers

Jeanne, Ben and I just got back off vacation from the Olympic Peninsula. I wrote about this two weeks ago — my experience of having a touch of seasickness when I went out shrimping.

While in Port Angeles, our friend Curt also took me out salmon fishing three times. I’m happy to report that I caught five king salmon. The largest was about 14 pounds.

I must say that Curt deserves most of the credit, which is an understatement. He has lived most of his life in Port Angeles and fished almost as long.

Curt’s knowledge about saltwater fishing is vast. He knows how to read conditions, what lures to use and the places to use them. He takes copious notes and keeps them in a binder. Curt’s fishing gear is top-notch. He has a great boat that is equipped with downriggers, GPS, depth and fish finder and tide meter. It is all quite impressive.

While out on the water, I did occasionally steer the boat while Curt worked the downriggers. However, my primary job was to watch my fishing pole. When I saw that I had a fish on the line, I was instructed to reel like mad while the pole was still in the holder, then take it out and play the fish.

I hadn’t been saltwater fishing in years. Now the rules have been changed since that time. Barbless hooks are now required. This means that while playing the fish, you cannot afford to have any slack in the line. Otherwise, you might lose it.

The first day out, I had a little trouble with this. On subsequent trips, however, I was able to achieve success.

No doubt about it. Curt made me look like a great fisherman. Truth be known, he did everything outside of hooking and landing the fish. He even cleaned, vacuumed-packed and froze them for me.

Like anything else, there are different expressions of Christianity. In my practice of faith, the work has already been done for me by Jesus. I’ve been set up for success by God’s grace. So, this life is not a checklist of burdensome rules of do’s and don’ts. Instead, it is filled with opportunities to express thanksgiving for what my guide has already done for me.

Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for more than 30 years.

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