A Few Years ago my Father took my daughter, Tess, my grand daughter, Lila, and me on amazing adventure to Colorado fishing. Yes, we drove, from North Carolina (I am the Christian Car Guy) and my 7 year old grand daughter only ask if we were there yet about 30 times. Kids in the back seat is part of the joy of a family adventure, memories we will all treasure for a lifetime but the one I will always treasure the most is the fishing lesson my grand daughter gave me when I had indeed violated the first rule of fishing. (similar to the first rule of Christmas)
We had not been there at Clear Creek Long, and sadly we had not caught but 4 fish after two long days of fishing and poor Lila had only reeled in one that I hooked the first day. As you may imagine I had plenty of chances in the last two days to bait hooks, untangle lines, clear snags and re-rig poles. We had my dad up creek a little bit and he was employing his favorite trout strategy with a salmon egg and a bubble. Lila, Tess and I were fishing a little water fall that I knew from previous years to hold a lot of fish and was excited to see that perhaps, Lila my grand daughter might catch one. Being a 7 year old however she was pretty impatient and as soon as she would cast the bait into the water she would exclaim, “I, got one, I got one”, and reel it in just moments after it hit the water. Then quite often she would swing her pole to much and tangle the line before the next cast and this scene was a repeat from the previous days on a couple lakes. Her mother kept getting snags down river that lead to some re-rigging and I was not where I should have been mood wise.
I’m sure, quite sharply, I told my granddaughter, “Lila, you have got to let leave the bait in the water long enough for a fish to find it! Wait till you feel a fish tug on it before you reel it in!”
To which Lila replied, “Papa, you have broken the FIRST RULE OF FISHING!”
Naturally shocked by this statement and also realizing I had been the only one to ever take Lila fishing I must have taught her this rule, I questioned, “I did? Lila, what is the first rule of fishing?”
She Said, “HAVE FUN!”
Realizing Lila had hit the nail directly on the head I turned to the only thing I knew to do when I blow it and said, “Lila you are right, I am so sorry, let’s pray God will give your papa and you some more patience, and while we are at it, Jesus could you please help, Lila catch a fish.”
Lila cast her salmon egg into the waterfall and just then I noticed my daughter Tess had a snag a little down river and started down toward her, I hadn’t taken two steps when I heard that now familiar Lila call, “I got one, I got one!”
I turned to see, thinking, (ye of little faith) here we go again… But this time, Jesus to the rescue, LILA HAD A FISH AND A BIG ONE. I will never forget seeing that fish all over the river and Lila telling it, “I got you you little dickens!” as she reeled it in and sure enough it was probably the biggest fish anyone caught the whole trip.
To add to the joy Jesus allowed that Lila caught 4 more fish on the next 4 casts, my father caught six up river and Tess started catching them too, we caught 16 that morning I day I will never forget when we re-employed the first rule of fishing, “HAVE FUN!”…Oh and yes by all means bring along the greatest fisherman, EVER!!! My Dad loved to catch Fish.
So this morning I ask Jesus what He was praying for me, He said,”Robby, have fun.” After that story you know I knew exactly what He was saying to me about kids and Christmas, The reason kids love Christmas is they know how to have fun, Child like faith. What happened to me, how did “Bah Humbug” creep into my spirit.
I really believe if I could cut away the religious wrapping on Philippians 4:4 In my heart I would have to translate it” “Have Fun in The Father Always and again I say Have Fun.” The First Rule Of Christmas or the RSV- Robby Simple Version. Isn’t that what every father wants for his kids at Christmas. So I know God gave us that heart because He has that heart. He loved it when David Danced before him, the feasts, the marriages. Jesus first miracle was about having fun if you really look at it. Now some more fun facts.
Singing and dancing is all part of making Mary at Christmas, no I didn’t misspell it. If you went looking for a Mary on that first Christmas you would be looking for the wrong person, she was a Jew and her name would have been Miriam. The Original Rock and Roll Singer Mary’s name sake Miriam was all about having fun, she could have danced all night to coin a phrase, and what did Jesus mother do when she found out she was to be Jesus, mom… She sang a song…She was having fun.
Another amazing coincidence is that the Jews teach about the location of Miriam’s well. “Rabbinic writings make it clear that Miriam’s Well accompanied the Israelites when they entered their land and was hidden away in the Sea of Galilee” I feel like I could write a book on why that is so cool, but here are just a few fun facts… Miriam spelled
מִרְיָם in Hebrew starts and ends with a Mem – Water and the third letter is a yud, which when placed like Mem Yud Mem spells water with the first being running water, (the open Mem) the yud that looks like a drop, and the last Mem is closed meaning a closed body of water a sea. All That is in both or should I say all the Marys in the Bible’s names. Note the imagery: Jesus the living water that springs up like Miriam’s well was conceived in Galilee and was sort of his home base, it certainly was Mary’s home. Another huge point is that Messiah, Mashiach also starts with a Mem – משיח
Yep, to have a child like faith is to have fun, with Father, delight in Him even, that’s what Christmas feels like to me with Jesus shepherding me to have fun.