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  • Writer's pictureMonica Walton

The Fisherman and His Bucket

The little old man loves to fish. I've watched him make his way to the water's edge many days. His steps are slow and careful to keep from falling. He must make it safely to his favorite spot by the water. He carries in his bucket everything he needs. It is enough. Life is calm and simple for him. When he reaches the end of the land, he stands for several minutes to take in the scenery as if this is his first time seeing it.

He feels the sun on his skin and the breeze on his body, he sees the endless skyline and openness before him, he smells the earthy scent of grass and dirt, and he hears the gentle swishing of the water as it flows by. Now and then, something stirs from under the surface and the water washes over the rocks. The man is at peace and feels connected to God, keenly aware that His Creator also created all these elements before him. The man understands this as a gift to enjoy, appreciate, and interact with.

He opens his bucket to begin. He pulls out some fishing line, hooks, bait, and a small net. Patiently he strolls along the shoreline waiting for the sense that this is the spot where they are gonna bite today. He casts his line with little effort as if it's an extension of his arm. Now, His bucket becomes a seat to rest and wait. He is content and calm. No worry of time to rush him. No phone to pull him away from the moment. No earbuds to drown out the sounds of nature. No distractions to distort his reality. No worries about things too big for him to fix. There is no one to speak to, but he doesn't mind. He embraces the quiet, peaceful, serenity of silence -- the conversation that fills his soul. Time is passing unmarked, the sun is warming, the water is waving, and his thoughts are open and free. He sits and enjoys. Occasionally, he checks his line and casts again confident the catch will come.

Although we've never met, I check on him periodically as I go about my busyness inside. Often, I am drawn to do my work outdoors sitting on the porch to write. I think of the contrast between all I am accomplishing and all that he is accomplishing. My day is mostly filled with tasks and deadlines. This is his season for relaxation and appreciation. The days of rushing and working long hours are behind him now.

After a while, he stands to stretch his back and move his legs a bit. He props his pole in a hole in the ground and secures it with a couple of rocks. The anticipation of a fish supper makes him hungry. Once again he opens his bucket which now serves as a lunch box. He pulls out a wrapped sandwich and two bottles of water, then closes the lid. He gently lowers himself to the grass and uses one bottle to wash his hands. The other bottle is for refreshment. Now his bucket serves as a dining table. He bows his head to offer a prayer of thanks and enjoys his picnic by the water.

Suddenly there is a tug and a pull on his line, and dinner is secured! Now his bucket serves as a place to hold his reward for the patient waiting. He continues to fill his bucket with fresh fish as the sky softens and the sun begins to complete its work for the day. When he has caught his share, he closes his bucket and lays down his pole. But still, he lingers. No reason to hurry indoors to the artificial light and reproduced sounds. He takes it all in again as if this may be his last time to enjoy the beautiful scenery. He appreciates the water, the sun, and the cool breeze. It is enough.

The man reaches down to pick up his bucket and pole. He steadies his stance, faces the water, and stands very still for just a little longer. I believe he is offering a prayer of thanksgiving to God for the gift of this day, the gift of the fish, and the gift of being connected to Him amid His creation. Watching the fisherman reminds me to slow down and appreciate the gifts before me. The little old man I've never met is teaching me about a life well lived and paring down all that I need so it will fit in my bucket. I have enough.


 

The concept of ENOUGH is still holding my attention.

It's a very versatile word. I had never given it this much thought before Good Friday and Easter Sunday when my pastor asked all who were present,

"When will we say ENOUGH to the violence and torture in our world?"


[Read my previous posts on the subject.]

 

The other day I was chatting with my friend, Cheryl, who has also been reflecting on the concept of Enough. She translated a quote from French philosopher René Girard so that I could understand it. (He is way above my head.) Here is my takeaway from the quote. Jesus' death was meant to be the final, complete sacrifice that would put an end to violence. That event cannot be matched or topped, so those who seek violence will never have enough." Sit with that for a minute in light of the violence in our world today.


 

The word ENOUGH can be used to describe a small sufficient amount, a level of comparison, a determiner, or a middle ground. It can also be used as a way to describe something plentiful, powerful, an abundance, or a plea to stop. Those examples cover a wide range of enough.


It is quite challenging to find balance on the spectrum of ENOUGH when it comes to being a good and faithful person.


When I am feeling like I am not enough, am I selling myself short?

Jesus says I am ENOUGH.


When I start to think that I am enough, do I stop trying to be better? Only perfect Faith in Heaven is truly ENOUGH.


I think we have to constantly monitor where we are on that spectrum of ENOUGH, and like the fisherman and his bucket, take daily inventory with time to stop and say:

Thank You, God, for the gifts before me, You always provide enough!

I don't need to accumulate more, I have enough!

I can't absorb any more negativity, that is enough!

I won't try to hide my true self and purpose, enough with that!


I could go on and on, but instead, I'll say ENOUGH!!!

(for now😊)

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Guest
May 02
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

You have really outdone yourself with this one. I can picture myself in the place of the fisherman and see God’s glory and His power. Thank you. Love and blessings to you and yours 🙏❤️.


PS. Great photo 😃

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alfolsee2000
May 02
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Very well done! Awesome writing. Reminds me so much of myself. I sometimes fish for hours and don't care if I bring home dinner or not. The concept of "enough" can have a multitude of meanings.

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Monica Walton
Monica Walton
May 02
Replying to

Thank you, Alvin! You could have been the man in my photo 😁 I was thinking that as the story unfolded. How much he catches, if any, is secondary to the experience. So glad you are enjoying the same peace in your life 💜

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Guest
May 02
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Very deep and wonderful reflection ! Oh that we all might step back a little from the turmoil that pushes up close every day …. Just imagine how different things could be, if each of us saw in our bucket all that He has placed there for wellbeing ? There is Enough !

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Monica Walton
Monica Walton
May 02
Replying to

I can imagine it! I believe more people would agree than disagree that there is enough. We each need to recognize that truth and share what we have -- food, clothing, kindness, love.... The Lord will show each of us the way!

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Guest
May 02

Beautiful, some food for thought in all that story. Well done & well written


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Monica Walton
Monica Walton
May 02
Replying to

Thanks so much! I hope it reaches a lot of hearts. We just need reminders sometimes😊

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Guest
May 02
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Beautiful and thought-filled reflection, Monica.

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Monica Walton
Monica Walton
May 02
Replying to

Thank you! Let's keep the conversation going.

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