It happened today.
I did not see it coming.
It has never happened before in my life.
It involves a fish.
A nice fat large mouth bass.
I am going to tell you what happened.
My kids are on Spring Break this week. I have taken some time off work to do some fun in town family stuff. Tuesday was Frizbee golf and cheesburgers at a new favorite place. Wednesday we had a combo of movies, play dates and shopping at the mall. Today was our Fishing Day. Phoenix is a big city and there are lots of Urban lakes and parks available. We headed to my parents old neighborhood close to Papago Park . I spent many summer days in this park with Glenn Batnelli, a water bottle and fishing pole trying to hook up with these Bad Boy Bass. They would sometimes swim right by our fishing lures, teasing us in plain sight, and then slip away without taking the bait. It was wonderful. It was horrible. It was fishing.
Today I was back at that pond. My daughters where with me. It has been four decades since I stood on that shore with a pole in my hand. The bass came out cruising through the shallow water in their confident casual style. My daughters were thrilled to see them. I threw in a line and prayed for the hand of God to direct that fish to my lure. Some may consider this a selfish prayer, but it is the only prayer an honest fisherman can pray. What happened next, was a Pre-Easter miracle. The large fat bass bit my lure. I set the hook, he took a little line then shot into the air whipping and flailing trying to gain his freedom. We both knew he was mine. I only wish Batnelli had been there to see it.
I was reaching for my stringer when it happened. The thing that has never happened. Abigail reached out, touched my arm and said “Daddy you’re going to let the fish go, right? ” I was speechless. I have never caught a fat large mouth bass and let it go. I love catching and eating fish, I always have. I looked at the fish, I looked at Abigail, I looked at the fish one more time. The contest in my heart was over quickly. The fish lost out, I loved her smile more than his. I got to see her smile when we let that fish go. The fish may have been smiling as well, I know I was.
Our dauhgters can help us do things we would never do on our own. They can even help us smile at ourselves and them in the process. What can you let go of this week that would make your daughter smile? Do it.
Grace and Peace and Happy Easter.
Dr. Don Worcester