I was driving home earlier this week and realized I had been taking inventory of the vehicles coming at me from the other direction. A muscle car went by that reminded me of a 57 Chevy I once owned. Then a sports car zoomed by that stirred memories of a Triumph TR3 and an MG. These were followed by a nice cruiser motorcycle that reminded me of one of the many motorcycles that filled my garage over the years. Each one passed without raising my pulse. None of them now occupy space in my garage or driveway. It was the same thing with flying. Twenty-two years ago I pulled a Cessna 206 into a hangar, closed the door and never went back. It was not always like that. At one point in my life, each of these things promised a needed escape, but no longer.
When I got home, I said to Jan, “I think I feel like a dud! All these great rigs passed me today and none of them excite me anymore.” Then Jan spoke some wise and insightful words that spiritual wives speak to their confused husbands, “That’s because you had all those things and now they no longer fill you.” Her words hung in the air longer than normal. She was right. That place in my life had now been filled with something more abiding and satisfying.
Gaining experience and possessing things in life is OK as long the experiences and things don’t gain us. Over the years, I enjoyed all that God allowed me to experience for a season and then its time was done. A chapter was closed. Things have expiration dates, real life doesn’t.
The next day, when I pulled my car into the garage, I looked up on the wall and there were a couple of my old fishing rods. A layer of dust rested atop each one. They have waited there while other things took their place. I am going to take them down this week, dust them off and put some new line on their reels. When trout season starts, I will be found standing on the bank of a cold mountain stream bouncing salmon eggs in front of a rainbow trout no longer feeling like a dud.