With the coming of spring, ice fishermen find their sport endangered by the warming temperatures. Ice, once safe, becomes treacherous. Only the really committed — or is that foolhardy — push the envelope by fishing on less-than-good ice.
It is not just the danger of falling through the ice that imperils the avid angler; the ice they are on can break off from the main pack and float out into the lake, separating the sportsman from the shore. Sometimes the piece that breaks away can be so large that the people on it do not realize they are actually afloat.
A friend of mine shared this insight regarding floating ice: "If you are trolling, you’re in trouble." For those inexperienced with ice fishing, normally one’s fishing line remains rather perpendicular to the water because your location is stationary. If the line pulls toward one direction, you are moving. The ice you are on has broken free.
My friend’s statement is a good rule to follow. Most often, the perils we face in life are not obvious at the beginning. It is not until we have drifted too far, or our figurative ice breaks up, that we realize our peril.
But if we keep watch for the subtle signs of changes in our life, we can prevent catastrophe. A diminished interest in spiritual life and its disciplines, or the development of sinful appetites or attitudes can be evidence that you are drifting.
So how’s it going? Are you fishing or trolling?
Pastor Mark Holmes is an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Church and has served the Darrow Road Wesleyan Church since 1997.