Last week I was in Casper, Wyoming helping a friend conduct fitness standards testing for the city’s Police Department. I’d driven through Wyoming before but never spent any time in the state.
It so happens that this area is home to some of the best trout fishing in the United States, if not the world! The North Platte River runs right through Casper. I love to fish but don’t do it too often. I did not take any of my fishing gear on the trip because I did not know if I’d have enough free time to get out on the river.. and I was unsure of where to fish.
By good fortune, one of the police officers we tested during the first day there is not only an avid fisherman but a fishing guide sponsored by Orvis, a leading manufacture of fly fishing gear. Jeremy was gracious enough to loan me his gear – flies, waders and a rod.
After fitness testing one day he took me to the Grey Reef, a world renowned spot about 25 miles out of town, and oriented me to the type of flies and fishing techniques that are popular on this river. Over the course of two days, I was able to get in about 8 hours of fly fishing for large rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout. I’ll forgo a long explanation of the technique used to tie on flies to the leader, cast and retrieve the line but it was something new that I had to learn from Jeremy.
One aspect of the fishing that is relevant to this post and different than I was accustomed to is the method of constructing the leader or the end of the line. It involved tying additional sections of monofilament line to the end of a tapered leader onto which you tie the fly. These end sections, called tippets, are the diameter the size of a piece of thread. There are a few special knots that are used to connect the tippet to the leader and it’s important that the knots be tied correctly, otherwise it may come undone and the fish would get away. (Read more about the construction of the leader and tippets at this link if you’re interested.)
On my second day of fishing, I returned to a hole that I observed other fisherman being successful in the evening before. (The photo to the right is of a cutthroat being landed.) I was able to hook into a large trout. By the color, I’m thinking it was a rainbow. I had it on for about 30 seconds until the tension on the line went limp and I recognized that it was no longer hooked. Upon reeling the line in, I recognized that the knot I had used to tie the tippet to the leader had come undone. The connection was not as it should have been so I lost the fish. Had the knot been tied correctly, perhaps I would have been successful in landing this nice rainbow, which would have been very rewarding and thrilling.
As in using and tying the right kind of knots in fly fishing to connect the tippet to the leader, the way we connect to God in our faith is important to living a full and rewarding life. The more grounded we are in our faith… the stronger our connection to God… the better we’ll be able to handle the life events and associated stressors that come our way.
In John 15, Jesus encourages us to stay connected to Him and that if we do that, He’ll remain connected to us. He indicates that when this happens, we will have fruit in our life and that our joy will overflow. He also says “Apart from me, you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
To me, being connected to Jesus and God means daily reading the Bible, praying, meditating on the scriptures, listening to uplifting and encouraging music, regularly going to church and having conversation with Him throughout the day. When I do these things, I have a sensing that He is with me. His presence then gives me strength, hope, joy and peace for living and managing life.
A Few Questions for You
Are you solidly connected to God and Jesus? If so, how are you benefiting?
If not, can you sense how you might connect with Him more solidly and the benefits you’d receive?
The Spirituality and Health Connection
Read more about why and how the spirituality and health connection exists.