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 for a year.
“In your patience possess ye your souls.” – Luke 21:19
Today, I taught 27 physical education students how to cast a rod and reel. Of course, some of them already knew this skill, and those really showed off. Some of them said they knew the skill, but obviously they had never touched a rod and reel before as the backlashes and tangles demonstrated. After many trials and as many errors, all of them finally could honestly say, “I can cast a rod and reel.”
But now, I’m worried. I forgot to teach them about how to set the drag on the reel. What if I have kindled a spark of interest in them for fishing and they actually catch a big fish? Those kids will probably never forgive me if their line breaks because of my limited lesson. A little learning is a dangerous thing.
I should have told them that the drag had to be set so that if a big fish really starts fighting, it will be able to pull some of the line off instead of breaking the line off. There has to be exactly the right amount of tension on the line. This allows the fish to become tired right before you do. The drag allows the fish to fight but not to win.
I imagine that someday those kids will learn about drags. They may be able to even apply the lesson to their lives they lead. I believe those future fishermen will live and learn that to handle the heavy problems; they need to apply just exactly the right amount of pressure. Too much tension on a line or a life is self-defeating.
Dear Lord, help us to apply the correct balance between pressure and patience. If we learn this, we will possess our souls and not have our souls possessed. And, God, while I’m praying for patience, help me to have enough to straighten out all of those rods and reels we used at school today.