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Every year I take a week’s vacation to go fishing with a longtime friend.

Three years ago we went to Lake Winnibigoshish in northern Minnesota for the first time.

Not knowing where to go on the lake, we took about a half-hour boat ride to the big lake where we found a cluster of boats.

There we enjoyed good fishing catching a number of walleyes.

Then it was about a half-hour boat ride back to the cabin we were renting.

After a couple of days of traveling around the lakes we tried a spot, literally, not more than a stone’s throw from our cabin. There we caught several large walleyes and for about an hour we caught huge crappies as fast as we could get our lines in the water.

After this experience, I wondered why we always seem to think that the best fishing is on the other side of the lake or why the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence.

In our relationships with the Lord there seems to be many people who are always looking for something new or the latest trend.

Jesus teaches us that the way to grow closer to the Father in Heaven is through prayer, fasting and almsgiving. In the sixth chapter of the Gospel according to Matthew, Jesus teaches that the Father repays those who pray, fast and give alms with a sincere heart. A temptation for many is to abandon these teachings of Jesus in order to embrace something new or different.

The best fishing is not always across the lake and the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.

Faithfulness to the teachings of Jesus leads us to the Heavenly Father. Prayer, fasting and almsgiving opens our hearts to the love of the Lord and empowers us to share that love with one another.

May our hearts always be open to the love of the Lord and may God bring peace to our lives, families and world.

Father Greg Havel serves Church of the Crucifixion, La Crescent.

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