A week ago we were in Mammoth, fishing. The locals said we encountered great weather – an “Indian summer.” Well, my experience with that weather pattern is a little more heat during the day than we felt. But, hey, Mammoth in the 60s in November, I’ll take it. Especially since the fish were biting (at least for me). There weren’t many fishermen battling for the trout still swimming around at the end of fishing season. I think that made a huge difference.

We got skunked on day one of fishing. Then we took out a boat and did well. Then some of the family headed home and others went on a hike – and I went out on the lake by myself. And I did even better on that excursion. It was quiet and the views from Lake Mary are special.

Now it was not a lazy week – we hiked a lot, too. We hiked so much we had a pup with bleeding paws. We took it easier on her after that. But the trek through Little Lake Valley (behind Rock Creek Lake) is a special hike. It was deserted in the middle of November, so that was nice. The green leaves of summer had long ago fallen to the ground. Some of the creeks were frozen. A few of the lakes were beginning to ice over. But the sun was shining and the views were spectacular.

Getting out into the mountain landscapes is good for my soul. And in November you always find a parking spot near the trailhead or lake. And I certainly didn’t mind the empty streets in downtown Mammoth. We had a great time in the Eastern Sierra. And it was most certainly icing on the cake to crush the boys in the annual fishing derby. And I mean crush. Of course, I fished at least twice as long as they did…but still, I caught more than twice what they caught – combined! So I’ll crow about it while I can (and ignore any hint of Fantasy Football this season). Me? No, I’m not fielding a team this year. It’s all Andrew…

But isn’t that how we normally tackle life. We pick and choose what stories to tell. We like the ones where we look good. And the other ones? We hope no one tells them. Fantasy Football 2019? May it fade into oblivion. Fishing 2019? I will never let you forget the adventure.

In life, however, it’s not always that simple. We need to explore those areas we’d rather ignore. It is in those places where spiritual growth can, and should, occur. Don’t so love yourself so much that you cannot be honest about the failures and struggles of life. Admit them. Learn from them. They are valuable moments that can be used by God to strengthen our faith and deepen our hope in Him. And, they tend to keep us with a healthy sense of humility. And that’s never a bad thing.

So I’m a failure in Fantasy Football (no shock there, actually). But I can help you find some fish in Lake Mary. Maybe it’s time to take stock of some more important matters, however. Let’s draw near to Jesus and let Him have His way today. Be honest.