This weekend I went fishing. I don't fish. So why did I go? Honestly, I think I went because I like fish. I never fish from the ground in lakes, rivers, or the coast; I probably haven't fished like that in seventeen or eighteen years. But this is the third time in the last five years that I gone fishing from a boat on the ocean. It's pretty expensive and quite a lot of trouble for a couple of filets.
On my previous two trips I got sick. There is nothing fun about throwing up over the railing of a speeding boat. Not to mention that when you get seasick, everyone seems to have suggestions for what to do about it. Even worse, people tend to be quite judgmental when you get seasick. They openly question why you didn't take any medicine (even if you did), or expect to get an account of all that you've had to eat and drink for the day. Ultimately it becomes a measure of your manhood, and those who didn't get sick seem to feel at least a little superior to you.
I decided that this trip would be my last if I couldn't handle the water without vomiting. I borrowed a friend's prescription medication and started taking it the night before, but I was still quite nervous that the sea would get the best of me. As we boarded the boat, and stood on her at the dock I could already feel my legs and body adjusting to a new kind of balance away from solid ground. But as the day progressed, my stomach remained calm and I made it through healthy and whole. One of our partners didn't. I guess it's not a trip unless someone wretches over the boat. I'm just glad it wasn't me.
We caught our limit and set off for home, about an hour and one-half trip on the ocean. With limited space to stand on deck, and all seats taken in the cabin, I spied a cushioned bench below deck. As the vessel skipped and jumped across the water I lay my head on my balled up sweater and halfway fell asleep. It reminded me of the time when Jesus lay sleeping in the boat while all of the disciples fretted over the storm that was thrashing their ship.
I think I saw this story in a new light, after my experiences. I found no rest on my first two trips as my body revolted against the sea. Finally, I managed to "weather the storm" and realizing that I was out of harm's way, it wasn't too difficult to retire below deck and allow the rocking of the sea to send me to sleep. I would have never appreciated that nap as much if I hadn't been through so much to get there.