Jesus on the shore, talking to fishermen in a boat.

The One That Got Away

It was overcast and dreary. One of those days when you'd like to stay in bed and watch old movies all day. I was searching for something. But I'm always searching. I'm like a scavenger looking for stuff that no one else sees.

I headed out to the nearby state park figuring that I could get away from the busy world and focus on the real stuff that life is made of. When my Dad was alive he often headed to this park just to sit and watch people. My parents made me a "people watcher." A big treat for me was to head to the local drug store with them and have an ice cream soda and then sit in the car in front of the shopping center and just watch people walk by.

But I went to the park this time to get away from people. I just wanted to listen to what was going on inside me. I walked down to the edge of the lake and stood inside this covered pavilion where a few old picnic tables sat waiting for the summer folk. The squirrels ran from tree to tree scampering about filled with excitement.

A few geese paddled by watching me carefully, not sure if I came to offer them a slices of yesterday's bread. They hesitated now, but as the summer crowds fill the park the geese and ducks become quite brazen as they intrude upon the picnic areas like street gangs almost threatening the visitors to share the goodies.

But for now we kept our distance. They had this look that seemed to say, "Oh, he's only a dreamer. Probably a writer at worst. They have nothing to give but themselves." They moved on.

Off along the shoreline, at a point that seemed too narrow to venture on to, I could see an woman. She sat quietly with little movement. I assumed like me, she was in retreat from the world. A light rain began to fall and speckled the calmness of the water interrupting my glassy stare at the reflection of the gray clouds. It reminded me that life is often interrupted just when things are calm and we get too settled into it. I guess as I look back at it all, those times offered challenges for growth. Although, at the time, I saw no real value at all.

Having been lost in thought for a few minutes, I didn't notice that the woman had moved away from her perch at the lake's edge. I scanned the area and found her sitting close by on a fallen tree trunk under one of the many tall pines. The rain for now, had ended.

"What is it they say about rainy days and Mondays?" she said as she sat with her head bowed down.

"Always get me down!" I yelled over to her in reply. Words from a song I had tucked away in my memory.

"Well as my Daddy always said, this is "The one that got away." she said as she lifted and turned her head toward me.

"Your father was a fisherman?" I asked.

"Yes, every where he went." she said.

"My Uncle Al carried fishing equipment in his trunk and would pull over whenever he found a lake or creek. He had a license in about four states including New Jersey, where he lived." I told her.

"No, my Daddy didn't fish in lakes and streams. He was what the Bible called a "Fisher of Men." He was a preacher." She seemed to hold her head high and proud as she spoke about him.

"He always considered a day lost when he could not make a difference in someones life. He called it "The one that got away."

"So, you're feeling like you lost this one?" I asked.

"I'm afraid I've lost a whole bunch of them." she said as she turned her back to the lake. "I can't seem to get back to the way I was before. I was always upbeat and motivated. I think I often overwhelmed people with my positive spirit. It concerned me at first until one day my co-workers said they depended on me to be that way. It seems a lot of people did."

"So, what happened?" I asked not expecting a straight answer. It really wasn't any of my business.

"My husband's business all but collapsed. He made some poor choices and everything we had seemed to vanish." she said as she walked closer to me.

"Forgive me for asking such a personal question. But was your love for each other a part of the business?"

"What do you mean?" she asked.

"This road to self destruction that you seem to be on leads me to believe that you've forgotten that your love for each other is far more valuable than the business or mistakes made. It appears to me that, like this lake, everything was smooth and wonderful until it rained" I said. "You can either look at the business failure as something that has taken away from your relationship or like the rain on the lake, added to it."

She had tears in her eyes as she stood there looking so helpless and lost.

"But it was a side of him I never saw. He made reckless choices. Our life isn't the same because of it" she said.

"This isn't the one that got away" I said. "You're throwing this one back because it's the wrong size. Like the fisherman you toss it's too small."

"As a fisher of men, your Daddy went after the big and the little challenges. Those days when one seemed to have gotten away he found strength in the love he had in his life. The love of his family and the love for God. He would not permit defeat and poor judgment to ever diminish that love. Love is always the answer" I continued. "Here's a better song. 'Love. Love will keep us together.'"

"Don't tell me. You're a preacher" she said.

"No. But I was told that I am a 'fisher of men." I replied.

"Well, I believe my Daddy sent you here. Good catch!" she said as she smiled. "What bait do you use?"

"A little caring, a bit of trust, and a lot of faith, I guess" I replied.

"Well, I'm a believer" she said.

"So am I. 'I believe in YOU!'"

"I wish you enough!"
~ Bob Perks ~

Good news - Bob Perks' first book, "I Wish You Enough," Embracing Life's Most Valuable Moments... is now available for ordering. Here's the "Link" to get your copy of Bob's book: I Wish You Enough from
[ by: Bob Perks Copyright © 2010 ( -- {used with permission} ]

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