I don’t know about y’all, but I consistently crave the water. Perhaps it’s my Floridian background where nearly every positive childhood memory is attached to a beach, river, or pool, but maybe it’s a human instinct that lives in all of us.
The day before Isle Royale officially opened for the summer season all of the employees attended a mandatory orientation meeting. The General Manager of Rock Harbor Lodge presented all of the information we needed to know, but he also gave me the opportunity to stand up and speak to my fellow co-workers about ACMNP. I have never been comfortable with the spotlight solely on me, so it was difficult to gather my nerves and look at the faces of my new friends (who are stuck with me for four months more). After a flock of butterflies fluttered through my stomach I finally rejected my worries and braved the stage because it finally hit me that I am not here for myself, but for Jesus.
Once I began to speak I realized that I never had anything to be afraid of. Although my small speech did not lead to any immediate conversations, I am confident that whoever needed to hear those words was in that room. I have even been approached by two of my co-workers since then and they both wanted to know more about Christian ministry and how I got involved! Working the front desk also leads to a number of opportunities for relational ministry and sharing a tiny bit of love with every person who walks through the door.
This all reminds me of the ocean: a menagerie of creatures and hidden landforms and undeniable beauty. There are so many different aspects required to clash and collaborate in order to create this one humongous masterpiece.
Which leads me to my next adventure of fishing Lake Superior! I have been itching to get out on the water with a fishing pole in my hand ever since I arrived in Michigan. Lake Superior may as well be considered an ocean for its size and unexpected weather – not to mention its home to a number of fresh water fish.
After a week of work and conversations with some of the fishing captains on the island, I finally weaseled my way on a boat. The friend who took me out has been fishing Isle Royale for roughly thirteen years and knew exactly where to go for a good chance at big fish. He taught me how to work the GPS and fish finder, and also let me drive the boat while he worked the downriggers in the back. Cruising along the Canadian border was just the beginning to what I’d call a good day’s work.
FISH ON! Set the hook, reel, lift the rod, let him fight, take your time, reel, COLOR, let him fight, lift the rod, reel, GOT HIM. Nearly two hundred and forty feet of fighting lake trout and it was worth every tense muscle.
I somehow managed to catch six beautiful fish between Isle Royale and Canada during sunset on the smoothest and warmest day of the week. Between challenging my personal conflicts and embarking on new journeys, I’d say life has treated me pretty well.