Ice Fishing. I Don't Get It


Ice Fishing.  I don't get it.  We used to live along a river channel in Chicago, where I would look out the window at people sitting on buckets, hunched over a hole for hours in the cold blustery wind and I would wonder, "Why?" I'll admit I might have even made jokes and judged them for doing this seemingly mundane activity that looked like such a waste of time.  

Now years later, as I walk my dog on the lake around the huge community of ice-houses, I still don't get it.  I guess I'm not quite as baffled.  At least if you are in an ice house it provides shelter from the cold and from what I hear, some of these "shanties" are pretty decked out with heaters and tv's. I would also guess there is some sort of feeling of community and belonging.  But still....are there really that many people that enjoy this?!

Then I thought about being a Christian.  Sometimes people looking in at the Christian community probably don't get it either.  "Why are they getting up early on Sunday mornings to go to church?" "Why do they want to change their lifestyle, just to be judged and made fun of?"  "Reading the Bible sounds so boring."

But as I was walking my dog on the lake today, along the outskirts of this ice-fishing village, I thought of the picture my son's friend sent him of the 34" northern he caught with his dad, the smile on his face, the feeling he must have gotten when he pulled that gigantic amazing creature out of that little hole.  As his dad says, "At some point in their past, fishermen have all had their moment"that 'hooked' them on the sport.  Most of them probably don't even remember exactly where they were or what they caught but it's that experience that drives them back to sit for countless hours with patience, perseverance and confidence.  It's not a matter of 'if' they catch the next trophy fish but 'when'."  

As Christians, we do all these seemingly boring, crazy things but we do it because of the rewards of joy and blessing that we pull out of the hole of our worldly lives.  There is nothing better than a place where we can go to feel like we are accepted and belong. And when we get a taste of the new life that comes from Jesus, we are "hooked" and we can't stop coming back to Him for more and more.  

Ice Fishing.  Hmmm, I think I'm starting to get it.


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