A long way to Grow

    Like most people in the world, I am not perfect. I say most people because there are some out there that actually think they are. They're NOT. No one is. 

   I make mistakes all the time. I learn new things every day. I am learning and growing as I go, and I don’t see an end to it. It’s called life and making mistakes is part of it. 

    One thing I will not do is stop trying though. I might not know what tomorrow will bring and I’m fine with that. I like not knowing. If I knew what I was going to catch before I went fishing, I might not go some days. Thankfully I don’t know, and I do go. My worst day fishing was still better than my best day at work. 

    God would like it if we were perfect, but He does not expect it. We all have a long way to grow. I know I do.

Fishing

    I have been fishing most of my life. It is something I am pretty confident in doing. I still have days that I don’t catch anything but have learned to just enjoy going fishing. I love the world God created and the ways I get to experience it. 

    I usually don’t have to do a lot of thinking when I’m fishing. I pick out a lure to start with after I find a spot, I think looks like somewhere fish would be. I make a few casts to try the waters. If I get a bite, I’ll keep trying. If I don’t, I’ll change lures and if I still don’t get any bites, I’ll go somewhere else.

   I’m not expecting to catch anything so I’m not usually disappointed when I don’t catch anything. This all changes really quick when I attempt to try to catch something in a way, I am new to.

 Throwing a cast net is not a skill I have acquired yet. I know how I am supposed to do it. I have seen people do it and it looks easy. I have made quite a few attempts to do it but all I can manage is a weird shape that may or may not open at all.

    I have tried to the point that I got so frustrated with it that I threw it too hard, and it caught my watch and pulled me in. Luckily the water was not that deep. That’s usually how my cast netting goes. Me trying a few times and getting frustrated and moving on to something else.

(There are a lot of reasons I favor artificial baits)

    Fly fishing is the same way. It looks easy for other people but all I can seem to accomplish is making myself frustrated with it. My head keeps getting in the way.

    The point is that if all I have to do is catch a fish, I know ways I can do that. I am confident in those ways and can usually get them to work. What’s more important is that even if I don’t catch anything I had a good time out in the world God created. 

    I have a lot to learn before I can ever say I know all there is to know about fishing. I am glad of that. I know I don’t know it all and am fine with it. There might be a day that I can throw a cast net and fly fish. I am just not there yet and I’m OK with that too. Knowing I still have a lot to learn gives me things to look forward to, including making mistakes. It’s generally how I learn, it’s how most of us do. It’s called life and none of us were born knowing everything

Music

     I play stringed instruments. I taught myself how to play guitar and then learned how to play bass. I even taught myself how to play a mandolin. Once you get one of them down and understand how to get it to do what you want, doing it on another instrument is easier than the first one.

    I didn’t just pick up a guitar one day and play the music I heard inside me. It took years of practice and playing. There was a lot of frustration and calluses earned during the time I was learning. I learn to play new things all the time on the instruments I am comfortable with. Different styles of music, different techniques all have to be learned. I won’t ever be a concert classical guitarist or even a famous musician. I mostly just play at home. It started as a way for me to express what I felt and didn’t have people to share it with. I also didn’t know how to express my feelings. I wasn't a writer yet. We learn as we grow.

There is one instrument that has eluded me so far. The violin. I must be allergic to the thing because I cannot get it to do anything I want it too. I can pick up almost any other stringed instrument there is and make a decent melody on it. Not the violin.

    The thought of trying to play it again fills me with anxiety and frustration. I cringe at the thought of the sound it makes when I try to play. It is the bane of my musical existence. What’s funny about it is that I know one day, when things are right, I will have the time and desire to play it again. I am still learning about myself and my limitations through the things I fail at. Failing can be a good teacher too, trying is the important part.

Still waters turn stagnant, and we all have to grow.

The violin is just a little reminder that there are things in this world I am not capable of but that I should keep trying new things and learning and growing. God works in mysterious ways.

Grammer

    I am a writer by vocation. It’s what I do, every day, more than almost anything else. I learned to read and write in grammar school. I should know how to spell and punctuate by now. I feel like I should be able to anyway.

    If I’m honest, my spelling is horrible, and I still don’t know when and where to use commas. Before spell check and grammar check is finished, I have red and blue lines all over every paragraph I write. Does it ever frustrate me that I cannot spell and that I have poor rhetoric skills? It probably should but it doesn’t.

    This is something I have just accepted about myself. I can say that it is better now than it was last year, and it might be better next year but if not, I’ll keep writing anyway. Spell check is a friend I will have for life.

    The only way I wouldn’t use spell check is if I hand wrote everything and tried to publish it like that. This would be a horrible idea. My handwriting is worse than a doctors. I know it’s illegible, because I wrote it, or scribbled it. I don’t even write out all the words most of the time. I kind of have my own little version of shorthand that would only make sense to me. I can read it and when I hand write something I am usually the only person I plan on reading it. Love letters and things will be something I will have to print, for life.

    (Maybe doodles on post it's for little thinking of You's)

   Do I ever see myself as someone who will have beautiful handwriting? NOPE! Do I see myself as someone who will have legible handwriting? NOPE! If the world comes to a point where handwriting things for others is important, the world will clearly have bigger problems than my handwriting.

    I do still look for new ways to express what I am trying to say or something I am trying to convey. In that regard I do learn new things all the time. The way a certain author worded something, or the way a chapter was outlined. The way to emphasize what is important in the writing and to diminish what isn’t but still get people to connect to it is something I will never stop trying to learn. My grammar and spelling might not ever be perfect but as long as I can find a way to get the message across it’s working. I am still learning how to write every day.

   (I am excited every time I spell restaurant and technique right. I couldn’t spell either one of them right last year. I guess it is improving.)

Faith

     I am a Christian. I know I am going to Heaven, oneday. I know some of the Bible and understand what I read. I have a long way to go before I would say I am qualified to teach anyone anything about it though. I can usually tell if something goes with or against the truth but not more than that and there are some things I still have to look into. 

    That’s the point of it though. When we accept Jesus we are not magically imbued with all knowledge of the scripture and made perfect beings. That will never happen in my lifetime or this world. People are flawed, we make mistakes and we all have a lot to learn.

   I read the Bible daily and watch sermons and look for answers to questions I have. I have more to work on in my spiritual; growth than in any other area, it is also the most important part of growing. I still sin every day and ask forgiveness every day, usually more than once. There’s a lot to learn and it doesn’t happen all at once. It is a process like anything else. 

 Luckily this one has a guide that is always true and the answers to all the questions I have are usually in there. It might be a week later before I find the answer to that question but it does come. Sometimes it takes longer than a week. I still don’t have answers for all the questions that I have but I do know who does and that’s good for now. We grow in faith just like we do everything else in life. We will also make mistakes just like in every other thing we do in life.

   I think people need to make mistakes in life to learn not to be afraid of making them. I have a lot to learn about life and living the way God wants me to live. I know this. I am fine with this because I know it’s not a race to get to the end, it’s a journey. I have a lot to do in life and I will most assuredly fail many times before I leave this world for the next. I’m fine with that too. I’ll cross those bridges when I get to them. 

    I’ve made many mistakes: I trusted the wrong people, I cared about people who only cared about themselves, I thought I could do something that was beyond my level of expertise, I lost fish, I can’t spell, I don’t know all the scripture and I could keep going. I try to focus on what I can do instead of my failures. In spite of all my failures Jesus still loves me and accepts me as I am. Flawed, imperfect and with a long way to grow. He accepts all of us as we are and makes us into who we need to be for Him. All you have to do is ask.

    For all my failed attempts I did get the one thing right that matters most of all. I pray everyone else does too but that’s not up to me. They’ll understand, eventually.

 

Live by Faith. Love the Outdoors. Life is Out HERE!

written by Benjamin Evans