Pardon me for the topless photo of myself…

…but let’s be honest – when there’s an important job to be done, sometimes a shirt just gets in the way:

Being born and raised in the Land of 10,000 Lakes taught me a lot about the art of fishing.  Every summer involved packing up snacks, worms, leeches, poles, lifejackets, and bobbers and heading to the lake.  One just had to make sure they were paying attention…so a worm container wasn’t mistaken for the Cheeze-Its box…

When I was little, my dad would “rig up” the pole with the appropriate bait, bobber, and weights and then “Ziiiing!” …he would cast the line out into the water and hand the pole to me.  I kept my wide-unblinking-eyes glued to that bobber in anticipation of the moment I might “get a bite.”

Once that bobber went under, screaming would ensue: “I GOT ONE!!!  I GOT ONE!!!”  …To which I would then give the pole a quick yank to set the hook.  While my dad taught me how to cast a line, it was my mom who taught me to “set the hook.”  She is so talented at setting the hook, in fact, that she tends to rip the lips right off the fish, leaving nothing but a pair of slimy smoochers on the hook.

.

Recently I came across a well-known verse in the Bible that reads,

Cast all your cares on God, for he takes care of you.

Cast.  When I read that word, I stopped and almost started to laugh.  Suddenly it was the Summer of 2001 again, and two girlfriends and I were taking a “we-are-independent-women-who-are-totally-capable-of-camping-without-men” camping trip in the remote Minnesota Boundary Waters.  We were failing miserably.

After getting “lost at sea”, helplessly stranded in the dark…

…in a canoe…

…in the middle of a 7-mile lake in search of dry land…

…again I reiterate: IN THE DARK…

…we were rescued by 4 men who caught the glimmer of our canoe in the moonlight and had to tow us to their campsite via THEIR canoes.

The next day we bid our man-friends farewell, pushing off in our canoe once again.  Over the next 24 hours, we experienced 3rd degree sunburns, flash floods and lightning storms, and mosquitos bites the size of Texas.  At this point we were all ready to strangle each other, desperately in need of some alone time.  They both crawled into the soggy tent for an attempt at a nap, while I set sail solo in a canoe with my fishing pole.

Tucked away in a small inlet, the waters were smooth as glass.  Up in the Boundary Waters, there are no motorized boats, no buildings, and rarely do you even see human life.  The only sounds to break the silence were the lapping of the water up against the shoreline and the gentle dip of my paddle in the water.  It was quiet.  Peaceful.  I pulled out my pole, held it high and gave a forceful snap of my forearm as I heard the “Ziiiiing” of the line whizzing out across the still waters.  It kept going…

…and going…

…and going…

In fact, my line sailed right OVER the still waters, past the shoreline, into the woods, and got stuck in a tree.  Dangit, I thought.  So I started reeling in my line, until WHAP!!!  The line snapped.

No worries.  I had a back up pole.

Paddling back away from shore, I pulled out Pole #2.   Holding it up high, I let out a Yippee-Tai-Yai-Yay! and let that line soar.

…and soar…

…and soar…

In fact, it soared so high, and so far, that once again it missed the still waters all together and snagged a large, fallen tree.  Once again determined to “reel myself free” I began reeling in that line so fast and so hard that my canoe was now SAILING through the water at approximately 79 mph towards that log.  When suddenly “WWWWHHHHIIIIIINNNNGGGGG!!!!!” 

The entire pole ripped free from my fingertips, skidded across the still waters, and sunk straight to the bottom of the lake.  R.I.P.

Cast all your cares on God, for he takes care of you.

I dusted off the old dictionary after reading this verse…{a.k.a. Online Dictionary} to look up the word CAST, just out of curiosity.  My eyes widened, as if glued to a dancing bobber, as one of the definitions jumped off the page…

CAST:   to throw with force

To throw with force.  Rereading I Peter 5:7 using this definition, it reads…

Throw with force all your cares on God, for he takes care of you.

Suddenly, a whole new meaning of this verse was beginning to form.  To this day, when my siblings and I get fishing poles in our hands, it’s not all about who can catch the biggest fish…but who can make the furthest cast.  “Watch this!” one might shout, winding up as we all watch it fly overhead.  “That’s nothing…check this out!” I say as I do a Triple Axel Round Robin Three Pointer Spin Jump Flip Flick Twirl and Cast {it’s a rare move…confident hair flip}.  Then we typically have to cut the line, as it’s in a tree again.  As you may have gathered by this point, aim is not a priority for me.

I Peter 5:7 wasn’t written in English…it was written in Greek.  The Greek word used in this verse where we say “cast” is  Epirrhipto which means “to throw upon” or “to place upon.”  There is only ONE other place in the ENTIRE Bible that the word Epirrhipto is used:  Luke 19:35

And they brought *him (*a colt) to Jesus and they cast their garments on the colt and set Jesus upon him.

The context of this verse is as Jesus is coming into Jerusalem and people are worshipping him, giving him a colt to ride on and “casting” their garments onto the colt for him to sit on.  They weren’t just casting just to cast…these people had a very specific place they were looking to throw these garments:  on the colt.  Unlike my personal casting skills, they had a target in which their casting was aimed.

In the dictionary definition of Cast after it says “to throw with force,” another definition below it caught my eye.  It read:

CAST:   to cause to fall upon something or in a certain direction

What if the people worshipping Jesus took their garments and just started tossing them into the air, Mardi-Gras-Beads-Style?  Just flailing garments with force high into the air?  I picture them landing on other people’s heads, blocking their views…or dropping in the mud puddles getting all dirty…or falling on the ground in a crowd where someone easily could snatch up the Pottery Barn Blanket that was totally meant for Jesus to sit on, but alas, it was just cast aimlessly in the air – with force – only to be sold on eBay days later.  Sigh.

The point it, well, there’s two.  First of all, when I’ve got cares in this life {also known as anxieties, stress, concerns, worries, uneasiness, annoyances, burdens, fears, or pressure} do I THROW THEM WITH FORCE?  Or do I passively let them simmer, fester, then grow?  Do I shake them off, allowing them to trail behind me, or do I launch them like a fishing line, with force, strength and power?

Secondly, as I’m casting, WHERE am I casting?  When it comes to burdens, cares, stress, fears and pressure, we can’t risk taking a Freestyle Approach.  No, we’ve got to look to our aim, Jesus Christ, where we plan to execute this cast.  No more throwing our burdens wildly nor aimlessly into the air.  Just like the people gathering around to worship Jesus cast their garments onto the colt, so must we cast our cares on a specific place as well…the shoulders of Christ.  With force off of ours and onto His…

Why?

 …because he cares for you.

4 comments On Pardon me for the topless photo of myself…

  • I love your wit…I so admire your wisdom! Thank you! I love you!

  • It’s not only fun to read all that you write, but it is also very inspiring. What a wonderful gift you have for putting everything together to make such great stories.
    I love you Jen and am thankful I can be a part of all these great adventures. Love,
    Nan

  • I love those pictures! (oh the memories!) I love the message too – thank you!

  • I just knew that my husband would be in the same blog post as you topless. I just KNEW IT!

    Happy Casting!

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