Why Fish the Sea When You Know You’ll Get Seasick?

Went fishing yesterday, not as I usually do, on a lake, for largemouth bass. This time I’m on vacation with my family in Puerto Vallarta which is right on the ocean.  So we hired a local boat from a company called Monkey Business and our Captain, Tori, did what he always does — he took us to where the fish are. This particular day he took us out to the mouth of the Banderas Bay near the Marietta Islands. Wow, it was like we were in a washing machine on heavy duty cycle. The boat was tossed about until I began to feel just a bit queezy, so I took a dramamine and washed it down with some Coca-Cola. It wasn’t long after that, that one of our party lost their breakfast over the side of the boat then another, then another and then I lost my best fishing sunglasses. When I finally could no longer resist the urge to regurge I was so overcome that I had to push the last person whose head was over the side (fortunately he had just finished) out of the way so I could add my stomach contents to the surrounding waters. The taste of coffee, mixed with Coke, mixed with just a pinch of dramamine will be forever imbedded in my memory.

I’m a lightweight when it comes to motion sickness (even as I type this post a day later, the room is rocking and swaying as though I’m still on board Tori’s boat) Knowing this, my wife asked me afterwards,

Why on earth did you, the person who gets motion sick so easily, go out on that boat and fish in the ocean?

OK, so I confess that more often than not when my wife starts a question with, “Why on earth did you…?” it’s usually because I did something stupid. But this time I had a good reason.

Dr. George Vaillant led a Harvard University study that followed the lives of 268 men in great detail for 72 years (one of the men BTW was JFK). Vaillant has come to some very interesting conclusions after poring over the resulting data. George Vaillant says that one of those conclusions is “That the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.” (see The Atlantic)

Yes, I knew I’d almost certainly get sick out there on the high seas, but I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to spend time with one of my sons doing something he loves to do, which is to fish. Neither of us had fished the ocean before so it was particularly appealing for me to be there when he experienced this first in his life.

Was it worth it? Yes. If I could do it over again would I still go? Yes. Will I go next time? No way!

My point is this: you and I sometimes become so task oriented that we lose our focus on what’s most important in our lives. I’ve spoken with men so focused on their careers that their wives left them unexpectedly, stating simply that, “you’ve been a good roomate.” These men were so busy getting the job done that they neglected their relationships with their wives who the Bible admonishes us to love as Christ loves the church. (Ephesians 5:25)

Another conclusion Vaillant came to after the Grant study: “What we do affects how we feel just as much as how we feel affects what we do.” Love is something you do more than something you feel. Love is a verb.

Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37) “And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39)

Love God and love people.

1 Corinthians 13

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