Heard a wonderful sermon this past Sunday, straight out of Matthew. All about why we should not worry.

Of course, like a favorite uncle constantly reminds me, “It ain’t as much in the hearing as in the doing!” So I set about applying the lesson to my life.

And what better way to guard one’s self against anxiety than to go fishing. Whites and stripers were still feeding on top and the lake beckoned. The next day, in less than three hours, I was backing into Norfork. A quick twist of the key and I realized my battery was dead. Not to worry!

I grabbed the jumper cables I keep stored and attached them to the trolling motor battery. Unrolled them as I walked to the back of the boat, still calm and relaxed. Would have connected them if the cables had been only six inches longer.  Pulled out as by now there was a line of boats forming behind me.

Minutes later I was backed out with the trolling battery set back a few feet. Got out onto the lake, reset the battery and began fishing. Calm and serene. As the sun set, the bite began.

I was trolling six-inch shiners about 90 feet behind the boat with a split shot 18 inches up the 12-pound line. Hooked up two at about the same time. Reeled in a nice six-pound hybrid and an eight pound on the other line. Feeling really right with the world.

Re-baited the number two circle hooks and made another pass. I was fishing in about 10 feet of water along a point the wind had been blowing against that afternoon. Both rods went down simultaneously.

I grabbed the nearest and began reeling. About the time I got the fish close enough to try to net, I noticed the other rod was almost spooled.

Not to worry, right? I stuck the rod under my arm and picked up the other one and began reeling. Heard the one under my arm slipping the drag. Kept at the one I was reeling until it was close enough to net.

A rod in one hand, one under the other arm and now a net in that hand; all was okay. Still do not understand how a minute later both rods were slack and the fish gone.

Still, nothing to fret. If I had boated them both, I would have been one over my limit and would have had to release one of the two. I had been saved a difficult decision. Talk about stress relief!

To make up for the day on the lake, the next day I weed-eated long enough to shatter the glass in our front door. The new glass will be here in less than a week.

Thinking of what an uncle would do (a man who never worried), I grabbed some duct tape. The first strip I applied knocked the entire glass out of the frame. Remembered along with duct tape, this uncle was also a Jack Daniels fan. Perhaps that’s why he’s always calm.

Called the hardware company back to rush the new glass. Not possible, but they advised if I would pour salt in front of the door it would keep snakes out. That night two deer and a possum believed they’d found a new salt lick, made themselves at home.

Judy said she’d be back after the repairs done. Big D remains content.

I am still calm; just hoping next week’s sermon does not deal with pestilence and drought.

(Rick Mansfield is a seasoned storyteller and writer, and is always looking for new audiences. He can be reached at emansfield2004@yahoo.com.)