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Oceans for emotions: Better is better than bitter

Aug. 5, 2011 at 3:05 a.m.

Elaine Wheat

"And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which He hath given me, I should lose nothing."

- John 6:39

Today, at about 1 a.m., I lost my father's old, ancient, antique rod. I was going out to fish under the lights on this nice, long pier, when I felt it slip through my fingers, saw it go through the worn pier planks and heard it plop into the dark waiting water.

I was being really smart and carrying everything I would need for a good night of fishing. I was being so smart that I wasn't going to make two trips, like those other silly conservative fishermen. I would take it all at once and get the best spot. All I did was prove that I was more competitive than competent.

I can still feel the emptiness in my hand as it slid away and the plop it made was molded in my mind. The plop was not the last thing people heard as I threw a screaming, stomping fit over my loss.

I finally settled down enough to get out one my other rod and reels, rig it up and try dragging it along that blackened bottom to see if I could snag my lost treasure. I tried using the dip net, the hook on the 20 foot stringer, the gaff hook and when I was about to cast myself over the pier railing in search for it, I realized, that the way the tide was running, it was really gone, buried at sea, and forever lost.

I was so bitter about that loss that I started gathering up all my stuff and stomping off that stupid pier. Then, I stopped, realized that I still had a perfectly good rod and reel left and being bitter didn't help at all.

I fished there the rest of the night, caught several specked trout, and as the sun came up on a new day, I learned that I had learned a powerful lesson. When you lose something precious, you can either be bitter or better. I decided that better is better than bitter.

Dear Lord, as I left the pier this morning, I found myself singing, "Amazing grace, how sweet the song; that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I am found: was blind but now I see." Insight is better than bitterness.

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