In Wisconsin’s northwoods, all the Wesleyans walk on water. So do the Baptists, Lutherans and Catholics. Shoot, we don’t just walk on water – we drive on it! Every February!
Each winter, little makeshift ice fishing villages pop up everywhere on area lakes.
I’ve considered holding church out there on the ice, but the board hasn’t gone along with me yet. I figure we can convert a few anglers, drill a big hole, and baptize them with bungee cords. We’ll call it the Holy Jesus Polar Plunge!
The first winter after my arrival from sunny southern California, I couldn’t believe my eyes, when I observed people driving their pick-ups on the ice, heading for their fishing shanties.
In December, I thought, “Those people are nuts!”
In January, I just accepted it as natural part of tundra life.
By February, I mustered up enough courage to join ‘em.
While taking our family on a Sunday afternoon drive, I impulsively swerved our minivan onto the snow packed trail towards Nelson Lake. There was no calmness in the cabin! All the kids yelled for dear life, and Cathy grabbed the dashboard, shouting ‘WOAH! WOAH! WOAH!”
But in a few moments, the panic subsided, as we found ourselves gliding across the solid surface. Realizing the ice was definitely thick enough to hold us, they relaxed somewhat.
This incident reminded me of an old poem I’ve slightly revised from childhood:
A man walked out onto a frozen lake in trembling fear one day
Then a four wheel drive came rolling by, laughing all the way
Great faith and little faith alike were granted safe convoy
One had pangs of needless fear and the other had all the joy