Elaine Wheat is a faith columnist for the Victoria Advocate.

Editor’s note: On Dec. 28, 2018, Elaine crossed over to that Eternal Shore and her family, friends and readers are missing her. The Advocate is reprinting Elaine’s articles.

“Be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”Roman 12:2

The new year has begun, and it brings with it all of the excitement of the first cast of a new morning. Yesterday’s empty ice chest and stringers belong to the past; their barrenness being replaced by today’s fresh hopes. Knowing that dreams, like fish, can only reach their limit and become keepers if they are given the right environment to grow, I decided to make some New Year’s resolutions. They are:

  • I resolve to remove all of the hooks from my line when I am finished fishing. I am tired of having the biggest catch of the day being the backseat of my car. There are some hooks in life that also need to be removed, for there are times that I catch things that I don’t really want to keep.
  • I resolve to get the tangles out of the stringer before I am standing in the water holding my rod and reel, and an uncooperative fish and trying to straighten out the stringer with my teeth. When I finish with this, I will work on the other entanglements that complicate this life. Stringers, like life, get messed up if not constantly checked. I don’t know how this happens, but it does.
  • I resolve to keep things cleaner. I have yet to meet the person who becomes enchanted while building a sandcastle in the floorboard of my car. While I am at it, I believe I might as well sweep out some other things that are carelessly left in the corners of my mind. Sand, like sins, makes life gritty.
  • I resolve to check my line before I get five miles offshore and find that it is frayed and bound to break. Stress can cause a monofilament line to stretch and become brittle and worthless. I don’t want to get rid of the stress, but it won’t cause me disappointments if I keep my line fresh and renewed. Line and life are a lot alike.
  • Finally, I resolve to determine the difference between “trying” and “trying.” I admit I love trying to catch fish, but I also have to admit that sometimes, fishing is very trying. I must learn when trying becomes trying and then try to quit. It is a matter of when. When I return to the sea, I will know when to compete and when to be complete. I will find my oceans for emotions.

Dear Lord, I can’t keep these resolutions without Your love, but without Your love, there would be no reason to.

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