Wasteland Kings


I snap my right arm up and bring the fly rod with it. My fishing guide called out ‘hit’ because I hooked a fish and a big smile spreads across my face as I begin the fight to get it in the boat. Torque, tension, and excitement define my entire world in this moment.

I’ve been catch and release fishing in Fort Smith, Montana for a couple days and that’s where I’m posting from. I still have another day of fishing left and I’m excited about it. Some of my excitement comes from the prospect of better weather.

For the first couple of days, we experienced a mixture of cold, rain, and wind. I wouldn’t call these my favorite conditions, but I’ve still enjoyed the fishing. That enjoyment brought a truth to mind as I rode back home from our outing today.

Purpose allows us to look past the difficult circumstances in our lives.

My patience was tested more than a few times in the last couple days. Most days I would not call standing in the cold and wet a good time. The purpose of catching fish kept me going though.

Every time a fish got on my line, the conditions seemed to melt away and everything became about getting the fish in the boat. After I released the fish, I took a moment to be grateful and then started thinking about catching the next fish. Without this purpose, I don’t know if I could have made it through the last couple days.

I’m certain my attitude would not have fared as well.

I need this truth in my daily life because I struggle to keep a good attitude in the face of hard times. When life takes a turn for the worse, I feel the powerful temptation to retreat, despair, or wallow. Having purpose always gives me something to focus on and help me push through.

The nature of the purpose does impact how much it helps. If you don’t enjoy fishing like I do, you probably wouldn’t handle those difficult conditions well; the same is true in daily life. I relied on the wrong purpose for years and it held me back instead of helping me.

Codependency used to dominate how I looked at everything. This addiction was based in earning other people’s approval and subsequently their approval became my purpose. When that seemed out of reach or impossible, all of my determination and focus would disappear.

I suffered from many days of depression and sadness because earning approval was my purpose.

Thankfully, Jesus freed me from codependency and gave me a new purpose; my relationship with Him. These days, I look up to Jesus when things get hard and it makes all the difference in the world. He gives me more strength than I could’ve ever imagined.

let us lay aside every weight, and sin, which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us – Hebrews 12:1

I’ve made it through painful circumstances that I didn’t think were possible to handle. I would not have made it through if codependency remained my purpose.

Looking back over the last couple of days, I’ve wondered if I would have signed up for this trip knowing the conditions. I don’t know what I would’ve decided, but I’m glad I made the decision to step into this adventure. I’ve seen more of God’s incredible creation, enjoyed a few great victories, and remembered the importance of purpose.

I call that a good trip.

Has purpose ever helped you push through something difficult? Did the nature of that purpose make a difference? Is your relationship with Jesus the purpose in your daily life?

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Lessons of a Wanderer
The Fishing of a Wanderer

Matthew Rial