Last month I joined my brother-in-law for a white bass fishing tournament on Lake Ray Hubbard just outside of Dallas. Friday morning we woke at 4:00am, dressed in the dark, drove to Waffle House to woof down a quick greasy breakfast, and made it to the boat launch by 5:30am. Our other fishing partner arrived, and we piled into his boat and headed out onto the smooth water – thunderstorms loomed in the distance – and hopeful for a boat full of large bass. And – this was just the “pre-fish”.
Since I am not what you would call an avid fisherman, I was not familiar with the jargon – “pre-fish”. Well, this is the day BEFORE the tournament that you roam around the lake looking for spots where the fish are hanging out, so that you can come back tomorrow morning (the actual day of the tournament) and go straight to the fish, catch them all, and win the trophy.
We caught fish. We ate lunch, and we went back home. The next morning, we woke at 3:30, dressed in the dark, drove to Waffle House, passed up Waffle House for a simple cup of gas station coffee, and arrived at the marina in the pitch black dark. We chit chatted with other early risers, refilled our coffee a couple of times, watched the sunrise, and finally boarded the boat and hit the lake at sunup.
Skipping to the end – we actually had a good day, finished third, and split some minimal prize money. It was fun.
Moral – men will find time to do what they find valuable, or important to them. We will rise in the middle of the night to go shoot things, or catch things. We will brave bitter cold to hunt things and catch things. We will spend hard-earned money on sporting goods, ammo, tackle, insulated clothing, etc., etc. We somehow find the time, money and the “want to” to do those things that are valuable to us – conquest, time with friends, time to ourselves, physical challenges, trophies – adventure.
We find time to do what we want to do. Question is – do we really want a fabulous marriage, and a God-glorifying relationship with our wife? They take time – lots of time. And they take sacrificing time doing other things we really, really enjoy.
What sacrifices do I make in order to be the best husband I can be? Do I wake up early? Stay up late? Do I give up sleep, or TV, or hobbies? Am I willing to work at it as much as I work on my golf game, or fishing, or hunting? Will I spend money to buy books or CDs on marriage issues, instead of on my “fun” stuff?
At the end of the fishing tournament we had a cooler full of floppy fish – and the small crowd clapped for us as we weighed in our top 10.
At the end of my life I want God’s applause for having achieved something much more important and eternal in my marriage. I do have the time – if I will take it……………