When the Rock Moved by Randy Rowley 7/29/22 ©


The day after Independence Day, my wife, Chris Rowley, and I headed to Lake Austin for a morning FCS bass fishing trip.  We launched at Mary Quinlan Park and headed north, towards Mansfield Dam.

It was very foggy, so I had to go slowly.  I stopped at one of my favorite spots by Harrison Hollow, in front of a huge house on a tall hill, about 2 ½ miles from the park.  The water level drops from around 7’ to around 4’ at that spot.

We encountered several bass chasing tiny minnows on the surface, but couldn’t interest them in our lures.  Although Chris caught her first Guadalupe (Guad) bass near a dock behind our boat on a ¼ ounce Blakemore Roadrunner yellow-headed jig with a chartreuse curly-tail grub.  It was 14 3/4 inches long.  I took a couple of pictures and put it in our 18-gallon baitwell.

Then a very unusual thing happened – a seaplane landed on the water around 200 yards from us.  We’d seen probably the same one while fishing near the same spot a few months before, but it just flew close to the water and didn’t land.

As fishing at our first spot was slow, we headed to a community dock area with a small ramp in the Apache Shores neighborhood about 1 ½ miles north.  I caught a dink Guad near the ramp on an Evergreen International SB-125 “Shower Blows” dog walker in bone color that was bigger than the bass.  But we didn’t get any more hits, so we headed to a shallow area that has large rocks surrounded by hazard buoys around two miles south.

Chris started to fish with a Netbait Paca Craw in Watermelon Candy color on a ¼ ounce black Bass Pro Shops Shakey JigHead and I started with a Strike King Rage Tail Craw in Green Pumpkin color on a ¼ ounce black VMC Swingin’ Rugby jig head.  In less than five minutes Chris said she thought she’d hooked a boulder.  But then she yelled, “The rock’s moving – get the net!  I put our Minn Kota Terrova Riptide 80 lb. thrust trolling motor on spot lock, left the bow (front) casting area, grabbed the net, and headed to the stern (back) casting area.

When I arrived, Chris was bringing a large bass towards our boat, but it looked funny.  As she brought it closer the oddity became clear – an around 4-pound bass was swimming right next to the big one Chris was reeling in.  It first appeared they were hooked together, but it skedaddled when it saw our boat.  It probably was trying to steal the crawdad from the bigger bass.

I netted her largemouth bass, being careful to grab the net where it met the handle to give the bass more support as I lifted it out of the water.  It was huge – 23 ¾ inches long, with a 16 inch girth, and weighed 6.18 pounds!  I took a couple of pictures, and added it to our baitwell.  Chris’ bass was not only her personal best (PB), but it was a record for an FCS self-chartered freshwater fishing trip and a Rowley boat freshwater fish record (for all three boats).  It was also more than 1 ½ pounds heavier than my PB – a 4 ½ pounder I caught on Lake Bastrop a couple of decades before this trip.  After taking a couple of pictures, it joined Chris’ Guad in our baitwell.

When we resumed fishing, I dragged my crawdad over a big boulder.  As it started to fall on the boat side of the boulder, an around 4-pound largemouth came up, grabbed it, and ran off with it.  I waited for it to eat it (i.e., counted to two Mississippi) and set the hook, but missed it!

Wanting a lure with more hooks, I grabbed another of my rod and reel combos with a Strike King 6XD deep-diving round bill crankbait in shad color with a black back tied onto it and started casting it near the boulders.  Around my third cast, as I was bringing the crankbait in the gap between two boulders, suddenly a bass came up and smashed it.

Watching its mouth engulf the lure (from below the lure) in the clear water was one of the coolest things I’ve seen – it was like a Great White Shark breaching on a seal on the Discovery Channel!  The largemouth didn’t escape the hooks and Chris quickly netted it.  It was 18 ¾-inch-long and weighed 2.82 pounds.  After taking a couple of pictures, it joined the other two bass in our baitwell.  We resumed fishing, but the fish had developed lockjaw.  We tried another spot but called it a morning about an hour later.

During the morning, we also threw a Whopper Plopper, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, swimbaits, lipless crankbaits, and a square bill crankbait, to no avail.  It was a relaxing day with little boat traffic and we saw no other fishermen (it was a Monday – a work day for most people, but I had the day off as Independence Day fell on a Sunday and my state agency gave us eight hours of leave).

Did you know the Bible refers to God as a rock?  Some of the many verses referring to that include:

  • Moses wrote a song dictated by God in Deuteronomy 32:4 (NLT); which says, “He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect.  Everything he does is just and fair.  He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is!”
  • 1 Samuel 2:2 says, “‘There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.’”
  • King David wrote in Psalm 18:2 (NLT), “The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.  He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.”

But God is referred to as spirit who doesn’t dwell in temples made by humans in many verses in the Bible, including:

  • Jesus said in John 4:24, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
  • The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:17-18, “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord.  And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”
  • Ezra wrote the words of King Solomon in 2 Chronicles 6:18; Solomon said, “‘But will God really dwell on earth with humans?  The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you.  How much less this temple I have built!’”
  • Luke writing the words of Stephen during his trial before the Sanhedrin in Acts 7:48-50, recorded Stephen as saying, “‘However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands.  As the prophet says:

“‘Heaven is my throne,

and the earth is my footstool.

What kind of house will you build for me?

says the Lord.

Or where will my resting place be?

Has not my hand made all these things?’”  (The “prophet” who Stephen referred to in Acts 7:48 is Isaiah; Stephen then quotes Isaiah 66:1-2a.)

How can Moses, Samuel, David and many others say God is a rock – made out of crystals and minerals fused together into a solid lump, but Jesus, Paul, and many others say God in spirit – incorporeal with no material form or physical substance?  Also, a rock could easily be put into a temple built by humans, which would mean Solomon and Stephen (who stated that God doesn’t dwell in temples built by humans) were wrong.

A “rock” in the verses saying, “The LORD is my rock” (or similar) stresses the unchanging nature of God and his faithfulness.  Also, a rock in those days (before concrete and rebar) was the surest foundation that could be found.  Therefore, God is both a rock that’s unchanging, faithful, and provides a sure foundation and spirit that doesn’t live on earth.

Jesus was also referred to as a rock in 1 Peter 2:4 (NLT), which says, “You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple.  He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.”  Jesus is the living cornerstone.  A cornerstone in Jesus’ day was the first stone set in the construction of a foundation.  It was the reference point and all of the other stones were laid following it to keep them straight and true.  It assured a structures’ builders that they weren’t deviating from the right tract.

Likewise, Jesus is the truth.  He said in John 14:6a, “‘I am the way and the truth and the life.’”  He is the cornerstone of our worldview, and is the reference point that ensures our interpretations of events are in line with the truth.  By following him, we are assured we won’t deviate from the right tract when we’re tempted or overwhelmed.

On that hot summer day, Chris hooked what she thought was a big rock, but it suddenly moved.  If you build your life on Jesus you’ll find that he’s the rock that never moves.  You can build your life on him by believing in and trusting him and establishing the relationship.


Chris with a replica of her record bass


Chris with her Guad

Randy’s dink Guad

The seaplane

The fog

Categories : Devotionals

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