I have lived in Alaska for over 21 years and until last Friday have never gone dip netting for salmon! This, of course, is where biologists have counted a sufficient number of salmon entering rivers to spawn, so they open a fishery for a period of time for Alaskans to fill their freezers for the winter. It was with this expectation that my son, Ryan, and I embarked on the journey to the mouth of the Kenai River last week. He has dip netted and so it was a special experience for him to take the lead.
He said that the daily count of fish entering the river had been increasing significantly. There was every reason to believe we were going to catch dozens of fish. This was what we expected, that we would dip our nets into the frigid water and bam, fish would be caught! I even talked about catching more than one fish at a time!
But reality does not always match our expectations. We did not catch a single salmon all day! But what a glorious day it was to be outside in God's creation. 75 degrees, sunny. Mt Redoubt was directly across Cook Inlet providing a feast for our eyes. Chatting with a neighbor about our Alaska outdoor experiences. Snoozing in the sun. Talking about Ryan's future. But we did not accomplish what we had come to do.
How well do you adjust your attitude when life expectations do not match your reality? I would not have driven 6 hours in one day on a busy highway just to experience the views. We went there to fish. But I believe in doing what I can to accept the reality of my life situation whatever it may be. I don't see the value in rejecting what cannot be changed. As people of faith we know that God is always present in every life circumstance. When our lives do not happen the way we expect we can always experience the presence of God. Sometimes these experiences will mean more than what we expected to happen.