Recently I had the privilege of fly-fishing for a few days in a remote area outside of Creede, Colorado. My wife Regina and I were there with some friends. We have been meeting our group for a number of years now in the same spot. One day, I splurged and hired a fly-fishing guide to spend an afternoon with me in the isolated, remote waters of Goose Creek.
Given the conditions and kinds of flies we were using, I had a strike indicator on my line. Two in fact. The indicators I used were small pieces of material attached to the fly line. They help “indicate” when a trout might be “hitting” or going after a fly.
I learned from the guide I was not paying enough attention to very tiny slight movements of the strike indicators. Just an infinitesimal twitch of the indicators meant a fish was nearby or interested. The name of the game was to pay attention to things that were extraordinarily subtle. When I did, my success changed.
As I stood in the chilly stream water and reflected upon how subtle the signs were that a fish was nearby or on my line, I began to think about God. Sometimes, God’s presence or actions in our lives are not overtly obvious and easy to miss if we are not paying attention.
Although God in scripture sometimes acts in big, obvious, dramatic ways, and while it is true that God at times does things in our own lives that are anything but discreet, in my faith journey, God’s presence and involvement, more often than not, is quite subtle. Subtlety does not mean less potent, powerful, or impactful, it just means if we don’t pay attention to the subtle ways God engages in our lives we might miss it or conclude God is absent or disengaged.
Whether or not you fish, I invite you to quietly ponder how God has acted or might be acting in non-obvious, non-dramatic ways in your life. My hunch is that if you spend some time doing so, you may encounter an “aha moment” in which you realize God has been active and present all along.