Casting your line

A new friend told me recently that work is like fly fishing.

Apparently, in fly fishing, you aim for a certain spot in the water, where you think the fish might be swimming innocently. You wait patiently for a tug. Then, the water inevitably pulls your line down stream, so you must pull back and recast, always trying for that one particular spot. That goal. That vision. And I think he’s right. That is how work is. Always recasting your line. Always aiming for the vision you’ve set, realigning that vision when the waters get rough. Never settling for less than what you’re aiming for.

I’ve heard a similar metaphor when it comes to flying, that recalibrating your compass to true north regularly can save you miles gone in the wrong direction.  Whatever your life-metaphor, I think it’s a reminder that the natural tendency of things, of us, is to go off course. Spiritually, emotionally, relationally, professionally. Whatever-ally. Things move, drift, and get cattywampus.

There are so many things I could talk about that are off-kilter in my life that I’d like to straighten out. But, I’ve been thinking more about my work, especially as this week, my deadlines have slowed and I’ve had more to think about… where do I want to cast my line? 

I’ve made a goal to write something that is published in a national magazine, newspaper, or journal by December. I think it’s an attainable goal. Especially because something crazy happened today.

Around noon, I got a call to drive to Murfreesboro on the spot to cover a press conference for The New York Times. Yep. The New York freaking Times. Understandably, I did a freak-out dance, took off my pajamas (that I was still wearing at noon), got dressed rapid style, grabbed my makeup (to be applied on the road), and left the house in a frenzy.

Within minutes, I got a call back letting me know not to worry- they’d found a reporter in Murfreesboro to cover the story, and I didn’t need to fret. And although I was slightly incredibly deflated, I remembered again about casting your line. Refocusing. Recalibrating. Remembering truth. Someday I hope to have a story in the New York Times. I really do. But until then, I’ll sit here on my back porch, feeling the heat of summer, practicing my craft, getting better and closer to that place in the water. I keep aiming, keep opening my eyes to the creation of God around me.

What are you aiming for professionally? Relationally? Do you think like I do that things naturally get off kilter?

(Photo credit: Hunter Hamilton, left behind paper at Dose Coffee Shop)