“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime."
There are many times while driving when I turn off the music, preferring the company of my own thoughts over lyrics that tell someone else’s story. Sometimes this isn’t a good thing, but often an epiphany of sorts works itself into my consciousness, giving me a clearer path into answers for my life.
On this particular trip I was on my way back from the grocery store and all kinds of thoughts were going through my head: “Where should I transplant my very shaky roots? How am I going to survive, financially? Are my kids going to be all right? Am I going to be all right? Should I switch jobs…and if so, what should I do?” I’m a creature of habit and don’t handle change well. Now every aspect of my life was up for grabs and I was grasping into air that seemed to be growing thinner by the minute.
The parable came to mind: if you want to truly help someone, don’t just give him fish, teach him how to fish so he can provide for himself in future years. I could definitely relate. I didn’t want someone to fix things for me, but I had no idea how to find the right fishing hole or how to go about beginning again. I needed to learn how to fish, to make a new start and take care of myself. “God,” I breathed, “please teach me how to fish.”
Instantaneously I heard these words: “Lori, you already know how to fish. You just have to cast your line.”
In all the weeks and months of feeling like a failure, of doubting myself and the gifts I have, I was given the reassurance that I do have a place in this world…that I do have something to offer and I can come back stronger, more confident and more able. I already have everything I need to make my life work.
It’s time to stop being afraid of the water, to believe in myself again and know that no one can ever take that away from me. I need to cast my line. It’s time to go fishing.