Life On A Trout Stream

Over the years I have enjoyed many peaceful hours walking the banks, and stepping on the rocks of my favorite trout streams. This is more than just a way for me to spend a few hours away from the noise of our community, and the intrusion of people. It is a reminder of my roots and a source of great comfort in what can be a very demanding and uncomfortable world.

Life is way too busy for the most part, and very few people, myself included, know how to step off the fast track. There are demands, responsibilities, emergencies and mishaps that have a way of commandeering every waking moment. Family, friends, business partners and even those who are not so friendly can grab our attention and time in the strangest ways. They can make life get pretty complicated and we just let it happen. So, when I feel the creeping tentacles of the life I DON’T want wrapping around me, I head for the mountains, drink in the solitude, and reconnect with my ancestral roots.

As I head north into the Adirondacks something happens like clock work. To being with, I hit the last Dunkin Donuts for miles around, and get a cup of hazelnut coffee with double cream. Then I slow down, roll down the windows and begin to inhale the pine scented morning air that floods my Trailblazer. It’s astounding how this impacts me at every level. Childhood memories of summers at Meacham Lake and Upper Saint Regis, boating and kayaking trips with my beautiful wife, camping with my sons on Indian Lake, and a hundred other events come floating into my mind. I am once again reminded of the wonderful life I have lived, and how God has guided me all along the way.

After two hours of traveling north, heading down twisting dirt roads and watching the sunrise over the ancient peaks, I arrive at my destination, and life comes into undistracted focus. There is no cell service, no emails and no intrusive text to invade this sacred place. I am alone in the wilderness, hearing the birds sing their morning songs, and listening to a distant clap of thunder. In that moment I am more than ready to face any challenge that might come my way. My 9mm is strapped to my side, and my Swiss army knife is pulling on my pants pocket. My trout rod and night crawlers are in hand and my wicker creel is slung over my shoulder as I push into the lush green underbrush. This is life the way my father lived it, and it is life the way I know it was meant to be.

The sound of water bubbling over primal stones draws me in and captures my imagination. I remember other days and other trout pulled from this very stream, and I being to anticipate what awaits me up around the next bend. I scan the streambed looking for the deepest pools, the overhanging rocks and the shaded banks where speckled trout will be lying in wait. My heart begins to quicken, but I become still and deliberate. Even my breathing is measured and smooth as I move with care to the edge of the stream and flick my bait into the water.

The moment it hits, the line begins to “run” and I know I am about to enter into an age-old struggle. I wait a few seconds, set the hook with a sharp jerk and the line begins to strip from my ultra-light reel. It screams briefly as the trout flashes back into its secret underwater lair. But, for that particular fish it’s already too late, and in a few moments I have hoisted a wiggling slippery beauty into the air, and deposited it in all it’s flopping, twisting glory into my creel through the hole in the cover. I pause to look at the fish with satisfaction and I enjoy all the beauty that surrounds me. Most of all I thank God for such a wonderful moment in time and then, it’s up the stream and on to the next deep pool.

This is life on a trout stream. It’s basic, it’s beautiful and it is brutal. It’s life and death in a raw and unedited form. No matter how many times I go, or how many trout I have caught, it never loses its attraction or fascination. I feel the wonder of a mountain stream, the power of a hooked trout and the finality of a fish slapping it’s tail in my creel. All of these things move me. They bring out the kid in me, and they unlock the joy of just living for that brief moment of time, on a trout stream that I alone know.

Part of the beauty is that I know all of this could be gone in a moment. A heavy rain could rip the streambed apart and all would be lost. Others could discover this secret place and soon trample it under foot or fish it empty. Worse yet I could become sick or fall and no longer have the mobility to hike into this pristine place of rest. But for now, and for as long as I can, I will return here again and again. I will make my pilgrimage to this forest cathedral and thank God for the privilege of one more day to discover the hidden treasure that awaits all who come here.

Do you want a peace filled life? Let me suggest that you find a trout stream of your own. Go learn its secrets and take the time to live a little on its banks. While you are there, look at all the beauty all around you and then look up to heaven and thank the God who made this just for you! Once you meet with Him in honest conversation, you will never be the same! Best of all you will always know where to go to reconnect with what’s really important. All I can say is, no one has really lived until they have found the pleasure of life on a trout stream!

TRUTH !

tigerman Above is the picture of a man who is convinced he is a tiger trapped in a human body. He has gone to lengths almost unimaginable to make his belief manifest into some kind of self-imposed, alternate reality. His face and body have been tattooed with tiger stripes. He has gotten his teeth, lips, cheeks and nails surgically redesigned to look like those of a tiger. His ears have been surgically changed to resemble tiger ears, he sleeps and lives in a cage and he even wears contact lenses to make his eyes look like those of a tiger. It really is quite bizarre but he has succeeded in being inducted into the “Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not” hall of fame.

He has quite a following around the world and in some primitive tribes he is actually venerated as being a genuine tiger-man. It is amazing to me how people will embrace what conforms to their own belief system, rather than look at the facts, and accept the truth. When all’s said and done, all the surgeries are over and all the alterations to his ears, nails and body are finally complete, one fact has not changed. He is still a man, a fellow human being, who has wasted a lot of time and money to deny an undeniable truth. Every cell in his body contains DNA that identifies him as a human male. He is not and never will be a tiger! No matter what this man does, or what he believes, he cannot transform himself into that which he is not designed to be. He may believe he is a tiger trapped in a man’s body but it just is not true.

This is truth in its pure and raw form, and it is an unalterable reality that is immovably fixed. He can do whatever he wants, but the truth is still there for all to see. Even if he stubbornly refuse to believe it, the facts are still the facts and they don’t go away. Until he is willing to face the truth, he is nothing more than a tragic caricature, a fake tiger who is held hostage in a cage of his own making. He is the keeper of his own prison and even though he holds the key of truth that can unlock it, as long as he refuses, he will never be free and become who he really is designed to be.

In todays decadent society we are continually bombarded with this same kind of blatant, self-denial. We have men that believe they are women trapped in a man’s body and vise-versa. We have children that think they are adults and deserve adult privileges. We have criminals that think they should be free to do whatever they want with whomever they want. We have godless radicals that kill those who voice differing opinions, yet they demand everyone listen to and accept them. We have millions who refused to get an education but think they should get a bigger paycheck than those who have earned it. Most tragic of all we have rioters who openly defy the law with mayoral sanctions and think they are justified in robbing and destroying what other law abiding citizens have worked their whole lives to secure.

We have career politicians refusing to uphold their oath of office to serve and protect, and vote as they wish ignoring the wishes of those who put them into office. Even those in the highest office of the land openly defy or brazenly reinterpret the Constitution to make it fit their current agenda. Hated agencies like the IRS, have been caught flexing their muscles to illegally target, control and regulate those who politically oppose the ones in power. Now more than ever people live together in open sin rather than marry and form a godly union to raise healthy, well balanced children. What do all these unconstrained people have in common? All of them think their own beliefs outweigh the truth !

Until America returns to the truth that made it great, we will continue down this twisted, dark, slippery road of destruction. It is the lie that multiculturalism can replace the truth that our nation embraces all cultures, yet it still must remain distinctly American. We are Americans first, English is our national language and all ethnic diversity  must come second. It is the lie that our own beliefs and thoughts outweigh the truth of who we really are and what really is. This means that men are men, and women are women by DNA not ideology, surgery, hormone shots, manor of actions or personal dress. It also means that children don’t rule their parents and marriage is for life between one man and one woman who love, honor and fully commit to each other. Most of all it means that we really are one nation under the God of the Bible, and He alone looks over the affairs of all mankind.

If we want answers to this nation’s problems, we must seek the truth because it has the power to set us free. If we want clarity in these confusing times, we must seek the truth because it contains all the wisdom we will ever need. If we want the liberties our founders secured by their blood and fortunes, then we must seek the truth and it alone can set us upon the bedrock that is so desperately needed. If we refuse the truth, and continue to embrace lies in this critical hour, this nation is all but done. We will become a nation of fake tiger-men living a false reality of our own creation that will never bring true satisfaction.

It’s time to wake up and face the truth America. It is time to do what is right, and do what is responsible, rather than what works for us. I believe this next presidential election is the tipping point for our nation. How this election goes will determine the fate of our national heritage and individual lives. We either vote responsibility, and elect those who will make the changes needed to rescue America, or we will elect those who have the same self-promoting, empty promises that don’t address the real issues and never work. If that happens we will be nothing more than a nation of fake tiger-men, living a self-satisfied life that will soon come tumbling down.

I see Dr. Ben Carson as the man that can change this nation. He has the character, integrity, dignity and ability to restore America and bring the healing that it so desperately needs. He loves this country and has a proven, established ability to assemble and lead teams that can solve complex problems. With the right political team, his solid leadership skills will correctly deal with the issues this nation is now embroiled in. I will not cave in to the current negative reframing of America, and I will not give up the dream of having national leaders who serve and protect the people ,rather than serve their own political careers and self-interest. When you look at the facts Ben Carson is the only one who has these presidential qualities.

You can believe what you want, but the fact is your vote is your voice. In 2016 we must all be sure our voices are speaking for the right candidate. If not, we will join the ranks of the tiger-man. It certainly is not what we were designed to be, but it will be what we have chosen to become. Think about what each candidate is really saying. Consider the truth of their track record and their personal dealings.Ignore the political rhetoric and false posturing that is sure to come and examine their true character. Really look at the facts and one candidate will surely rise to the top. That is the one who has earned our trust and deserves our vote.

God help us if we fail to point this nation in the right direction. Unless we elect the one He has raised up for just such a time as this, America as we know it will cease to exist. Ask yourself, what legacy do you want to pass on to your children and grandchildren? Do you give them a welfare mentality that thinks it is entitled to take what others have worked for, or do you give them a work ethic and self respect that compels them to earn and  build their own American way of life? May we have the courage and conviction to embrace the truth that will make a difference.