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“Perhaps I will stay with you for a while, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go. For I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits.” 1 Corinthians 16:6-7

Someone once observed that fishing is for brain-dead people — folks who are content to cast their bait upon the water endlessly with little on their minds. I understand their point. When I fish I am happy to clear my head of workplace issues, unfinished projects, and problems with people.

But while my thoughts may idle in neutral, my spirit brims with hope.
And so I cast.
And cast.
And cast.

Every cast is pregnant with hope.

In a six-hour day, casting once every forty-five seconds, avid fishers will throw their lure over 400 times and then reel, reel, reel. One famous fish — steelhead trout — are so elusive, we call them “the fish of a thousand casts.”

That’s a lot of hope. A lot of waiting.

I find the same principle in relating with friends. Success in building strong bonds and enjoying peak moments often come only after much hum-drum casting. Making meals side by side, taking walks, helping with housework, and watching hockey routinely lay the foundation for more significant conversations about fears, dreams, hurts, and faith.

Paul seemed onto this when he told friends in Corinth that he hoped to make more than a passing visit; he wanted to stay awhile, even all winter. And why? So he could be helped on his journey. I can see him resting from his travels in the company of local believers, connecting well.

We’re all on a journey, and need help along the way. We can’t blow in, busy about, and hope for significant relating. We need to realize that redemptive relationships begin with time together enjoying the everyday.

We need to keep casting.

God, help me see the value in time together with family and friends even if it seems mundane to me. Help me understand that routine relating gives hope for significant care and intimacy. Amen.

Take Action

Do something average with people you love today. Look for windows of opportunity to discuss fears, dreams, hurts and faith along the way.

Read more on this topic in Dr. Strom’s book, The Relationship Book.

Tags: Hope