Fishing, friends, and the comparison trap…
Recently, my daughter and I had the privilege of escaping for a “girls’ weekend away.” What an awesome and refreshing time we had! Although I was convinced as I was frantically packing and trying to get us on the road before rush hour that I did NOT have time for this…and that there were SO MANY responsibilities I should stay home and do…once we arrived “in the middle of nowhere” and started to relax, the need for this mini-sabbatical became clear. We all need time away!
On top of all that, Joy had this pretty awesome catch on the first day:
Photo creds to Aunt Sue
I was super excited for her, and quickly texted the pic back home to her Dad and brothers. While Joy had been out fishing, I was “back at the lodge” — chatting with a friend and throwing down some snacks and chocolate in various forms. (But of course! Chocolate is a necessary staple whenever two or more women are gathered together out of town.)
The next day, I decided to try out fishing for myself. I knew Joy loved it, and the pond clearly had some big ones in there. How hard could it be?
There were four of us fishing that day: Joy and Aunt Sue, who are both avid fisher-women; and K and me, who are beginners at best. While we were still unpacking the vans at the pond, K decided to throw in the line (is that the right term?) and caught a huge fish in mere seconds! I was excited for her — at first — until I stood in that same place for like 20 minutes and got nothing. Ugh! Isn’t it amazing how quickly comparison creeps in?
As I pondered this scene later, I realized that it’s easiest for me to rejoice for others when either a) I’m not in the same competition, so I couldn’t have won anyway; or b) “I got one, too!” Are you like that? I’m hoping I’m not the only one. Oh — haha! I just caught myself comparing myself to others about comparison! Is there any hope?! Why, yes, actually.
While Mark Twain states that “comparison is the death of joy,” God reminds us that He loves us all the same. We don’t have to fret and compare. Colossians 3:12 promises that we are “God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved.” Now if I can just remember that when I’m feeling like I have to do or be something special… That’s the trick. Whether I catch “the big one” or just catch “three worms!” (as a much-younger Joy once proudly proclaimed after a day of fishing), the God of the Universe says that I am dearly loved. Yay!
By the way, I did end up snagging two fish that day. The first one was pretty huge — like two feet long! — (just kidding). We didn’t have our camera with us since Joy and I were both in kayaks on the far side of the pond. She deftly got the first fish off the hook for me (I wasn’t touching that thing) and paddled to shore to grab the camera or my phone. When she was at the farthest possible point from me, I caught another fish all by myself: way out there on the kayak and with no clue what to do with it! I was yelling for her to come back, while trying to paddle towards her with that poor, dear bass flopping frantically on the line. It was quite the scene. When Joy finally reached me, we brought the little darling onto shore where he ultimately died from swallowing the hook. Ugh…We took the obligatory pictures (before he breathed his last) and I’ve since decided to adopt the attitude from that famous classic movie, Finding Nemo: “Fish are friends, not food.”
To wrap this up, that’s actually a great quote to modify and apply to our relationships: “Friends are friends — not food.” When we’re tempted to compare, let’s celebrate one another, instead of “devouring” one another with our words or our thoughts.
And, for you moms and mentor moms out there — have a very Happy Mother’s Day! We celebrate you and we thank you!