My First Hobby

“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” – John 10:10 (NRSV)

Happily exhausted, my muddy clothes still wet after kayaking a back channel of the Mississippi River, I wonder why I didn’t do this sort of thing back when I lived in the suburbs of Chicago. There are a thousand reasons. Some are external. I didn’t have a river down the road or an inflatable kayak in the trunk of my car. But it’s the internal reasons that always break the bank. I was too busy. I couldn’t imagine the possibility of such play. Chicago can’t be blamed for that.

Here in Iowa, for the first time in my life, I have a hobby. And just to be clear, it is not one of those “fake hobbies” that people put on job applications in order to appear well-rounded.

“Tell me more about yourself. What do you do for fun?”

“Well, I play the guitar and hike and cook and of course I love music.”

Heaven forbid an interviewer asks to see your unused hiking boots, or the out-of-tune guitar that you haven’t touched since college, or the nasty fast food wrappers strewn across the back seat of your car.

I get it. I really do.

But I’ve just come back from kayaking along a limestone bluff of purple flowers that were not there two weeks ago and will not be there three days from now, and there were water lilies everywhere. I suspect Claude Monet would have painted his lily scenes differently if he had been paddling through sedge against the current of the muddy Mississippi river in an inflatable kayak.

But he had his job.

And I have my hobby.

I can’t believe I finally have one.

Thank you for keeping me afloat, God, in work and in play. Amen.

16177.jpg About the Author
Lillian Daniel’s new book Tired of Apologizing for a Church I Don’t Belong To: Spirituality without Stereotypes, Religion without Ranting is now available for purchase, but you can hear it all for free at 1st Congregational Church of Dubuque, Iowa.