Humbling experience

June 2, 2008

Faith Outdoors

I was all set to take my family on my new boat’s maiden voyage yesterday. After a busy spring of turkey hunting, I was turning my thoughts to the fishing season.

The planned destination was Turtle Lake in Shoreview, but a packed boat landing and parking lot made a change of venue necessary. So, we journeyed farther west in Interstate 694 and pulled in to Lake Owasso. It was less crowded there and I was able to launch the boat within minutes.

I jumped in with my oldest son, Joe, and turned the key to start up the motor. The groaning sound indicated the battery power was too low. So, the cruise across the lake would have to wait. Then, I decided to try out the bow-mount electric trolling motor. Bad news there, too. The foot pedal was seriously out of adjustment, which made steering difficult.

So, I packed it in, loaded the boat back on the trailer and went home. End of trip. Unfortunately, on top of that, I reacted very poorly to the mechanical problems and set a poor example in front of my wife and children.

As I reflected and prayed about the episode later that day, I knew I needed to ask everyone’s forgiveness for my bad attitude and expression thereof. The great thing about kids is they’re very willing to forgive, especially when they know you’re sincere about your penitence, which I was.

The good news is, I’m already working on the remedies for the boat problems. I’ve got a battery on the charger that I bought last year and know is still good. Also, I called MinnKota and got information on how to adjust the foot pedal on the electric trolling motor. And, I hope to take the boat out later this week to make sure everything’s in good working order. After all, our family is going on a week-long vacation up north at the end of the week and I would like to have full confidence that the boat will function like it should.

I also hope and pray to have God’s blessings on all of us, and the boat, too. And, I think another worthwhile task this week would be to find out the patron saint of boaters.

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About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

View all posts by Dave Hrbacek