Monday, May 25, 2009


There’s a knot in my shoe lace – one of my favorite, most comfortable shoes. It’s been there for a few days and I’ve just ignored it - not a big deal, just a little irritating every time I lace up. I thought about getting it out, but the last few days, it’s seemed that I’m always in a bit of a rush to get out the door and I’ve just let it go.

It gets tighter every time I ignore it. The longer it stays there, the more difficult it’s going to be to get out.

Maybe later.

It’s not like the tangles I used to get when I first learned how to fish with that open-face bait casting reel I was so proud of.

I was in the eighth grade, I think, when a family friend started taking me fishing. Our families took vacations together from the time I remember starting to take vacations. His sister was my age – my first crush and my first kiss. I still remember her birthday and every year when it rolls around, I think about their family and what a great friendship we all shared.

On those first fishing trips, a few miles drive from my hometown, I felt like the luckiest kid in the world. We’d load up the car, hook up the boat to the trailer hitch and take off.

We ate horrible food on the lake before anyone really thought too much about what was actually in Deviled Ham or Vienna Sausages. Didn’t seem to do a great deal of harm. But this was back before the politically correct ( and what now seems to be the more sporting action ) behavior of throwing your catch back in the water. We’d catch our limit, take them to the shore of the little lake house our families owned together and fry up the best tasting meal I’d ever eaten.

I started fishing with a plastic icon of the fishing tackle world known as a Zebco 202. If you were really getting serious, you might step up to the metal version – the Zebco 303. I suppose if you went on up the chain of precious metals, you might eventually get to the 505. Don’t know what that would be made of or if there actually was such a thing.

But I digress.

One of my first precious possessions was the sparkling, deep red bait casting reel made by Abu Garcia – the Ambassador 5000. It came in a saddle brown leather case with its own tools and everything I’d need to keep it spiffy. Learning to throw accurately was a challenge and didn’t come to me quickly. But with time, I was able to navigate the branches and obstacles and get into those pocktes holding the big fish.

But man, those backlashes. I’m not so much into the scientific explanations of why a backlash would happen – basically, the spool would spin faster than the bait would fly through the air – but it was a mess. I’d sit down and slowly and as patiently as I could – for me, at least – pick out the knots. There. Lesson learned for now. Inevitably, it would happen again followed by more picking and further demands on my patience. Again and again. While I would sit there working my way to the source of the problem, I probably, without realizing it, thought about how I’d gotten into this mess. Probably made some minor, mental corrections hoping it wouldn’t happen again.

Once, when I’d graduated to using two different rods, I set down the one resembling a birds nest, and picked up the fresh one. Funny thing, when I picked up the fouled rod and reel, uh, it was still a birds nest. It didn’t go away by itself. Interesting.

Knots are stubborn. If you ignore them, at best, they’ll stay like you left them, and at worst, they’ll just get tighter. When you finally do get around to them, they’ll demand more of your time and attention.

Some of those knots in your gut are getting tighter every day. You tell yourself that you’ll deal with them eventually. Will you? When? Sure, God could miraculously remove them and free you, but it doesn’t always happen that way. Frankly, I don’t see it happen that way very often. God gives us wisdom, guidance and strength, insight and reason to work our way through our knots. Why? Because the experience and the lessons learned will be a big help down the road… maybe helping you or somebody else whose life is in the ditch.

Pay attention to the knots. Before they get so tight you have to get out the proverbial scissors, spend a little time picking through the problems. You might not get them untangled in one sitting, or two or three. Take a deep breath, pray a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s faithfulness and His patience with all our stuff. He is watching. He is helping.

You are loved.

Wayne Watson


Anonymous said...

Thanks for those precious words of wisdom they were kinda like the milk that washes down the brownie...ah that hits the spot. It was so well said and received! You're the best.

Beth , Fort Worth, Texas said...

Wayne, I know about those knots. I am so glad that you are continuing with your ministry. I have followed it all my life back to the days of the velour jackets (loved seeing you in one on your website) and the monk haircut. My youth groups followed you around when you were in small venues when things were really beginning to take off for you. I attended NWMBC and CFBC in Houston when you attended those churches. I sang in a Christian band with music amazing man Bryan Lenox whom I know you have worked with through the years who continues to honor God with his talents. Sweet memories. I came onto your website because I have pulled out some old cassette tapes of yours that I found from years gone by. One is my husband's favorite. We had an old player and cranked it up a few weeks ago and frequently since. When we hear you belt out "this one is born in Zion, make no mistake, this one's mine" there is never a dry eye in the house. So after coming across two cassettes, one is now in the car and one in the house (yes, my van still plays one), I decided to check online and see what you are up to. So, I thank you for your music and your ministry and for the memories. They minister to me still today.