On a seldom fished section of Rock Creek in the Sierras, a bit overgrown with trees. Yeah, nowhere near a campground. The pic above had the caption, “If casting is difficult, you can assume not many have fished there.” My kind of stream. I spotted a nice pool and wove through the tree branches with just about 3 ft of line hanging down from the fly rod tip. Letting out a little line and dropping in the hole, I realized a route was blocked to extract any trout that chose to bite, so I gently moved a branch aside with my left hand, the one that controls the line, that sets the hook.
Just then, a nice trout hit on the free floating line. About 13-14” from the feel as I finally grabbed the line. But by then he’d stripped off 15 ft of line, and broke it.
Why did he escape? I wasn’t ready. I shouldn’t have let the line down to the water until I was set. I got too eager, and it cost me. And in a lesson that transcends trout, the spiritual life requires readiness—an awareness of the situation, an analysis of the need, and an ability to act appropriately. Otherwise, we’ll lose something, something more important than just a trout. A God touch.
In an extended passage from Luke 12:15-48 (relax, it won’t all be here), Jesus told us to be ready. Always. Verse 15 warns us to not allow greed for good stuff to slip in and take too much importance, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed.” 20 verses later he gives another application, “"Be dressed, ready for service and keep your lamps burning.” Or, as servants of God, we attend to his business without getting distracted. Ouch.
Readiness applies to all of the spiritual life. Recognizing temptation. Chances to tell about Jesus. But Jesus threw in a surprise. When we do this, when we keep our lives attentive to him, we get rewarded, “The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat!” (verse 37, NLT). Who serves these ready servants? The master. Jesus. I had never noticed that before.
Sure, readiness will cost us. But what a sweet trade!
Kick Starting the Application
How consistent are you in determining to be ready for whatever comes up with spiritual significance? Think of a time you got blindsided. How could you have better prepared for it? How can you craft more spiritual readiness in your life so you can live intentionally? What one act will you do this week to help that?