Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

December 6, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Like most young boys, there were always those imaginative thoughts of being stranded on an island and surviving through personal skills.  You would imagine in your mind how you would catch fish . . . start a fire . . . build a hut . . . and find fresh water.  In reality, that never happened to me.  O course, I was stranded on an island once. However, with two friends, we decided to see how we could survive with limited resources.  As teenagers, we planned to go to a certain lake to survive for three days!  We would carry only a few necessities — necessities that we would not have had if stranded on an island, of course.

We took only the following:  a blanket for each of us, matches, skillet, meal, cooking oil, fish hooks and string, coke bottles to capture drinking water from a spring, and hunting knives.  We talked through the ordeal we would face.  We were confident that we could live off fish for three days.  We knew we could fry them, bake them in the sand, and cook them over the open flame.  We assumed the fish we caught would be large enough to do that. 

Arriving at our destination, we did not find good flat land — only hills.  That was ok, since we could sleep with our head uphill!  We decided the weather was good enough to sleep in the open without building some shelter.  Soon after arriving, we knew that it would be mealtime soon.  We began to seek some grasshoppers, and anything we could use for fish bait.  We even dug for some worms with our knives and sharp sticks.  We secured some soft tree limbs for poles, attached our string and hooks, and began to fish.  Up and down the banks we fished — seemed forever before we began to catch some small bream about 4 or 5 inches long!  This would be supper!

Rather than cooking them over an open fire, we had yielded in our “survivor” supplies to bring oil and meal.  We cleaned these small fish. cooked them,  and consumed them quickly.  Dark came early and we sat and talked until we thought we could sleep.  The night went well, but morning came and it was time to find breakfast.  We began fishing again!  And again, only these very small bream.  Same routine as the night before, except we did not clean all the bream. We saved some to use as bait, hoping we could catch some catfish.  After breakfast, we tried fishing with live bream — and cut bait!

We found between going to a spring for water, securing grubs, worms and grasshoppers for bait, catching, cleaning and cooking the small bream — it was suddenly lunch time!  Lots of fun, eh?  This was the routine . . . fish, clean, cook, eat, fish, clean, cook, eat, etc.  There was no time to do anything else!  Sometimes it was funny . . . sometimes it was miserable . . . sometimes it was arguing whether to give up and go home . . . and sometimes it was just silence.  I think we were all thinking, “What are we trying to prove?”

It was miserable during the days . . . it was miserable at night trying to sleep on the hillside!  And to add to the discomfort, the second night it began to rain!  No shelter . . . we had been convinced we would not need it.  We retreated to the world we brought with us — a panel truck.  We all crawled in and slept there for the night!  With such a vehicle, what a temptation to head for a store and buy some real food!

I cannot remember if we stayed the third night.  My last memory was being in the panel truck . . . somewhat dry!  Of course, we did survive.  I have my doubts what it would have been like if we had not carried even the supplies we did.  My imagination was more realistic after that experience.  But it is a good memory now!

There can be a vast distance between imagining what something would be like and the reality of it.  I have experienced that truth in many ways  in my life.  But, I know if I don’t dream or imagine something can be done, I would never try it.  I am willing to try.  I would be disappointed if some things only remained a dream.  And whether the dream becomes reality or not, I learn so much about myself.  I did learn much from that camping experience! However, there comes a point sometimes that we become so realistic about a dream that we realize it does not need to be attempted.  A good example in my life is skydiving.  (See blog:  Skydiving

Dream and plan.  And seek to fulfill those right dreams.  Even if you do not accomplish it, there is satisfaction in the effort.  There is great learning from the attempt. There is maturity and wisdom that comes from the experience.  And there is the great possibility that you will accomplish it.  God just might have planted that dream to better equip you to enjoy life and serve Him.

“For I know the plans I have for you . . . plans to give you hope and a future.”  (Jeremiah 29:11)



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