Well folks, I’m going off the grid for a few days to charge the spiritual batteries and reset the ole’ gray matter. I’ll be visiting my good friends over at Elk Springs Resort for awhile, catching up on news of the Upper Elk Valley’s fine residents over good food, good drink and good conversation. Might even play a few licks on the Taylor just to liven the mood. Oh, yeah, and there’s the whole fishing thing.
Everyone has their own refuges for mental health, and for the past 10 or 12 years, the upper Elk has been one of my favorites. Not only is there the opportunity for outstanding flyfishing, but some of the finest, most genuine people I’ve ever met anywhere (along with my other co-favorite haunt, the good town of Davis, WV). And while a fishing vacation is often an escape to solitude (and there is plenty of that to be had “up Elk”), there is a very social aspect to the Elk Springs experience as the River Regulars converge–along the river, around tailgates roadside, or in the local watering hole/restaurant/flyshop–to swap stories, share secrets, and maybe even tell a few lies. (We are fishermen. It’s what we do.)
This coming Sunday in Church I’ll be delivering a message about identity…what it means to take on the identity of a disciple, as an individual and as a church. There is nothing more core to my own personal identity than my love for the mountains of West Virginia and the trout-filled waters that flow through them. It is where my soul rests and gathers strength…much as the disciples did in their fishing excursion in John 21, when the risen Christ appears to them and offers a familiar suggestion: “Cast your nets to the other side…”
So I’ll see you on the other side of this little adventure. Feel free to browse through the archives and comment on some past posts. The reason Faithrants exists is to stimulate conversations about faith in our cultural context. So fire away! As Anna often reminds me, it’s a blog eat blog world!