Your Church +Portland


How to Catch 20lbs of Seaweed


Two sports/hobby interests that I have always enjoyed are golfing and fishing. There’s just something amazing about knocking a golf ball hundreds of yards down a fairway onto the green, and then strategically sinking that ball into an obscure 4 inch hole cut out somewhere on the uneven turf.
Then there is fishing. I love fishing. I enjoy sitting in a boat and casting line after line into a calm lake, while expecting ‘the big one’ to strike my bait every time I reel in. It makes me smile just thinking about it.

Yet, the ironic thing is that anyone who has ever golfed with me has probably wondered why a guy like me, having golfed so many years of my life, can still manage to make so many ‘aerodynamically-impossible’ shots. No matter how badly I aim for the fairway, my golf ball manages to find different fairways, sand traps, trees, brush and innocent golfers. I’m a golfing phenomena, and most days I’m okay with that.
Then there is the irony in my fishing. No matter how much I enjoy it, anyone who has accompanied me fishing would tell you I spend most of my time restringing tangled line, losing my hook, catching 20lb seaweed or finding creative ways in how I can free my line from being caught underneath the rocks. It happens every time. Why? Because I’m a fisherman’s phenomena (that sounded like a good answer to me).

The truth is, no matter how much extra unnecessary work I end up having to put into those two sports/hobbies, I still enjoy it. If it taught me anything, it taught me to not give up when you are working towards something you love.
Not to sound like I’m feeling sorry for myself, but I was never a ‘born natural’ at anything. However hard most people work at something, I have always had to work twice as hard and twice as long to achieve somewhat the same results.

Take skiing for example. A couple of weeks ago my good friends from Texas sent me video footage of their 5 and 3 year olds snow skiing for their first time in New Mexico. Sure, it took the little ones a few days to get the hang of it, but by the end of the week the 5 year old was going down the mountain alone. To be honest, I watched and re-watched the video in absolute wonder. The 5 year old was amazing. I really think that the kid skied better than I did – and I’m Canadian! When I lived in Canada it took me the better part of 3 years to perfect the ‘snowplow'. And this kid was already killing the slope at the age of 5! It’s baffling (Hats off to you, Jeff. I was definitely impressed).

One thing I have learned throughout my life is to accept myself the way I am. I have both the Bible and my mother to thank for that. If it takes me 3 times longer to learn something, then so be it. Life is so much easier when you decide to enjoy the journey.
I don’t think many people enjoy the journey, especially Christians. Too often we spend so much of our lives comparing our weaknesses to others’ strengths, which inevitably results in us working hard at being someone we’re not. That’s when life starts being all about performance. The danger comes when we begin believing that our performance is the person we really are. If we’re not careful we end up spending a good chunk of our life in a lonely masquerade. Pleasing all the wrong people hoping to gain some level of validation. But in the end, it never works out that way.

Life is a lot easier, and a lot less stressful, when we discover the joy in accepting ourselves the way God made us. Loving the Creator for the creation – us – that He created. It doesn’t mean you don’t have to work at anything in life. It means you learn how to enjoy the journey, and it's as simple as relying on God’s grace, not our skill set. We all face inabilities to produce results and if you’re like me, your quota of inabilities tends to be higher. It’s when we accept those inabilities that we begin to see the riches of His grace – His ability in and through us. That begins to change perspective.
Our life is not one of struggle, but rather a poem. A masterpiece. A work of art. In this poem He takes every detail of our lives and works it to our advantage. He takes everything we aren’t and fills us with everything He is. In the end, what matters is us allowing His grace to fill us with everything He is. And learning how to love the process!

Pastor Shian

2 Corinthians 4:13-18
13 We're not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, "I believed it, so I said it," we say what we believe. 14 And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. 15 Every detail works to your advantage and to God's glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise! 16 So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. 17 These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. 18 There's far more here than meets the eye The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.

Pastor ShianComment