Sabbath Fishing

At every Christian camp and every Vacation Bible school I ever attended, we sang the song “Peace Like A River.” It was not until I fished in a real river that I realized that whoever wrote that song must not have known what they were talking about.

Last summer we fished in the headwaters of the Rio Grande River, near Creede, Colorado. I was astonished at how powerful the water was. From the perspective of the back porch of our cabin, the river looked peaceful. From the perspective of trying to stand in the water and while casting, the river was precarious. This official “Wild and Scenic River” was much more peaceful in photo-form than in real time

If peace if like a river, then that peace is a series of unknown turns and dips, like the ramblings of the Rio Grande. Sometimes the Sabbath feels like the only day I can count on. It’s the one day I can know.

On the Sabbath I pull my gear over to the bank. I rest with only my toes in the water. When I ease myself back into the river, I carry not only a pole but also a sense of mystery. What will the weather be like? Will I catch anything? Will I go out too far and be swept away?

Peace like a river, huh? Doesn’t sound like a children’s song to me.