The Right Fish


My son has been single for 29 years. Since flying from our nest, he has kept a fairly clean house, done his laundry, and become adept at cooking. Although he does show up at our house often just to gaze into the fridge and drool. But a grown man can only eat so much of his mother’s lasagna before she sends him to pasture.

So he considered marriage. Surveying the field, fishing the pond.
“What do you look for in a wife?” he asked. “Well,” I said, “why not put a classified ad in the newspaper. I did years ago. It said, ‘Wanted: good woman with tractor. Please send picture of tractor.’”

Steve laughed, and showed a list of some things he’d like in a wife. “Must love Jesus, strong character, compassionate, crazy about me, athletic, musical, confident…” The list went on awhile. You could never fault the boy for setting his sights too low. And off he went with his tackle box and fishing pole.

There were days he’d walk through our door with a grin to tell me about a girl he met. And I remember the tears when relationships fell apart. “Maybe I set my sights too high,” he admitted one day. “Maybe love is about compromise. What if that girl on my list is a mythical creature?” Mostly we prayed for him, as we’d done almost every day since he was born.

And then, suddenly, he hung up his fishing pole. He stopped chasing girls and started chasing Jesus. And something happened. There was a remarkable change. He loved telling others what Jesus had done in his life. Random people. In malls. On park benches. And there was contentment in his eyes.

Then one May day in 2015, he saw her. Sitting behind him at a conference, worshipping Jesus. Little did he know that a mutual friend would set them up, that two weeks later they’d be sitting in a restaurant, and that Dallas would cause him to throw out his list. “She’s all those things and more,” he told me. “She doesn’t own a tractor, but I can overlook that.”

And on July 31st, he dropped to one knee on a mountain peak after a stunning sunset. “Dallas, will you marry me?” She said, and I quote, “HECK YES!”
Steve will tell you it hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth it. “Be patient,” he’ll say, “and don’t compromise. Seek Jesus first, and don’t stop praying. God hasn’t forgotten you.” One of his favourite Bible verses is Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Whatever you face today, would you trust Him?

Meanwhile, you’ll have to excuse me. I have a wedding to prepare for. My son has put on a suit, and is about to step away from our fridge. His mother and I couldn’t be happier. Imagine all the money we’ll save on groceries.

Phil Callaway

Phil Callaway, the host of Laugh Again, is an award-winning author and speaker, known worldwide for his humorous yet perceptive look at life.

Want to read more from Phil?

3 min read

Old Age and Birthdays

Nurses in a long-term-care facility held a celebration for a resident on her 100th birthday. She was rather drowsy, so…

3 min read

Superstitions and Faith

I enjoy few things more than baseball. I know, it’s not as fast paced as golf or lawn bowling. But…

3 min read

Easter Fools?

Some think it fitting: That at a time devoted to hoaxes, we celebrate the most colossal hoax of all Here…