I have always enjoyed fishing, and we did some of that this weekend too! We caught, filleted, and ate fresh fish from the lake. Fried in butter, with a little lemon juice, it is quite a treat. The time has now come though, to give up my fishing hobby. Progressive weakness in my hands, arms and legs is making fishing a challenge and a bit dangerous due to a lack of balance while in the boat. Over the last few weeks I have given out to my grandsons and sons most of my fishing tackle. “Christmas in July” I call it. I still have to hand out my half-dozen or so fishing rods, but that will be next. I remember back 25 years ago, taking my son out fishing, helping him into the boat, baiting his hook and untangling his reel. Now my son helps me into the boat, and untangles my reel, in a quiet kind way that leaves me with my dignity. The son has become the father. I am very thankful for the wonderful experiences I have had, and I am OK with letting it go now. I had a great summer on the lakes this year and am glad for the memories of God’s goodness to me. God is making the transition and letting go easy for me.
|3 Generations of Westerink Fishermen!|
There are also a few personal things I have given away in the last few weeks: my silver pocket watch, engraved pocketknife, my coin collection, my antique lure collection, and some of my books. It makes for memorable events, both for me and my grand sons, and it will make it easier on my wife not to have to do this later when I am gone. I am finding that a loosening of these material things can be quite liberating actually, and I harbour no bitterness or regrets. I have had a good, rich and full life.
We always try to be faithful in attending our home church on the Lord’s Day, but twice this summer we were privileged to worship with God’s people at Braidwood Bible Chapel in Peterborough. Most of the members there that we have met have discovered the doctrines of Grace, as found in the scriptures, in the last 10 years or so. They were Arminians before, but have been born again by God's Spirit and become Reformed Calvinists. We heard two instructive and encouraging messages. A young elder preached an expository message on Jonah 2 in the morning, and a more experienced elder delivered a message on Psalm 73: 25,26 in the evening. The theme was to show how God is working through the difficult circumstances in life. It took those difficult circumstances to teach these valuable lessons to men like Abraham, Job, David, Jonah, and Paul. “God does not take away Himself when He takes away outward comforts’” (Stephen Charnock) The sermons three points were: 1) Hold on to what you cannot lose, 2. Hold loosely to those things you cannot keep, and 3. Realize that God works through the circumstances of life. He also quoted from the well known hymn: “I know not why..., I know not how..., I know not when..., but I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able...” Lena and I realized that God was clearly speaking words of encouragement to us through these Godly lay preachers.
I also share with you a quote from J.C. Ryle sent to us by our daughter.
No Regrets on Your Death Bed