Chuck Terrill: Fishing fanaticism at Roaring River

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Talk about hidden resources!

I didn’t know that my wife and I would actually set the alarm clock to ring at four o’clock in the morning so that we could be in Roaring River State Park by 5. “On the River” owners Sam and Jenny Madsen had challenged us to be at the Cassville Chamber of Commerce tent to serve coffee with them.


By the time Bob Mitchell fired the starting pistol at 6:30 that frigid morning, over 1,700 people had joined us in the park. Their hidden resources had enabled them to go fishing on a frigid winter morning. I commented to my wife, Mary, about one man’s appearance. “That guy has a thousand dollars’ worth of gear on him,” I said. He was decked out in insulated camouflage clothing with matching camouflage rain gear and gloves. His boots, landing-net, tackle box, ball cap and fishing pole all screamed “fishing fanatic!”

As a matter of fact, we were surrounded by fanaticism. As I was pouring coffee for one man, he told me that this was his 38th year in a row to be in Roaring River State Park on March 1. I don’t know what old angler holds the record, but I am certain that there are many who have been fishing for trout on opening day for more years than that.

As a newcomer to Barry County, I did my research. The water rushes out of a cave, but the source of Roaring River is unknown. Old timers tried to reach the bottom with sounding ropes and weights. In modern years divers have descended about 250 feet. No one has reached the bottom. I guess the river’s source will remain a mystery, a hidden resource.

All of nature depends on hidden resources. How do the eagles know when to come, and when to go from Roaring River? The great trees in the park send down their roots to draw up the water and minerals that feed the tree. The most important part of an eagle, a tree, a river, or a man is the part that drives it. It is the part that only God can see. Without divine intuition, eagles wander aimlessly. Without roots, rivers cease to flow and trees topple before strong winds that blow.

Unless humankind draws upon the deep resources of God by faith, we will also fail in the midst of life’s strong storms. Like the Apostle Paul, we must learn to draw upon the hidden resource of God’s power. Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

I can do all things. My calendar for next year reads “2020 Vision: Trout Fishing – Roaring River; March 1.” Who knows? Maybe I’ll buy a thousand dollars’ worth of gear and actually go fishing.

Chuck Terrill, who has doctorates from Master Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary, is the senior minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He may be reached at 471-847-2460.