My dad was not an excellent reader. That didn't stop him from reading his Bible or listening to books on tape. Since he was an artist, he learned visually. If he could illustrate a concept, he could understand it better.Giving flesh to a truth from God's Word, my father extended this concept to utilizing anything he encountered to create a picture in which to understand God in a deeper and richer way. If I ever expressed interest or curiosity in something, he'd pose a simple question: "I wonder if there's a spiritual application to that."One constant source of spiritual applications came from fishing. Jesus used fishermen to explain deep concepts, so my dad felt like his favorite hobby offered a deep well from which to mine spiritual riches. Here are some the visual pictures I learned from his love of fishing:
- The Holy Spirit is like a fishing guide - you can go out and fish anywhere with any bait, but you're not guaranteed to catch anything. If you go with a guide, he can tell you where the fish congregate, what bait they like, and how to entice them to take your bait. In the same way, you can read the Bible any way you like, but if you'd like to hear and understand it, you need the Holy Spirit to guide you. Seeking his guidance in prayer, you can comprehend the richness of the word in a way that you couldn't without the Great Helper.
- Unforgiveness is like hooking Jaws - if you hold onto a grievance, you're the one that is caught. One of his favorite books was The Old Man and the Sea, an epic tale of a man against a big fish. Hanging onto a hurt only connects you to the pain instead of freeing you from it. Forgiving an offense allows for healing, restoration, and peace.
Another of his favorite sources of spiritual applications was camping.
- A coal only stays warm in the fire. If you want to fan the flame of your faith, you need to be around other Christians. It's too easy to "cool off" when you leave the fellowship of the fire.
I would do well to learn from my father:
- Bring truths to life in pictures.
- Open my eyes to the world around me and how I can see God's fingerprints all around me.
- Cultivate faith in my own children as I help them see spiritual truths in the world around them.
You might also enjoy: How My Father Cultivated my Faith: Asking Eternal Questions
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.