Alton’s prayer for the Classic
Practice is over, my hooks are sharp, all my baits are tied on, and my rods are ready. My strategy is set from “plan A” all the way down to “plan C”. Now I’m just waiting, just watching the clock. I’ve worked the entire season to make it to this one event, now it’s here. No more time for preparation, just waiting for the kickoff and for the game to start.
This is one of the longest nights in professional fishing. Right now the entire field has aspirations of being the Classic Champion, including me. Tomorrow that dream will die for at least half the field.
It is at times like these that I must affirm that my foundation set on something other than just bass fishing. A bass fisherman is what I am, but it’s not who I am. If I let my fishing define who I am I will ultimately be disappointed and my world will collapse.
My true identity is in Jesus Christ. It is only through YOU that I can find lasting peace and true satisfaction. Please grant me wisdom as I fish and give me good decisions on the water. I pray that you will give me a victory in the Classic! But, Lord, may your will be done, not mine.
Lord, I ask that you calm my nerves and give me the courage to trust completely in you. You are in control. You have my best interests at heart. Whatever the outcome, may You use it for Your glory!
Thank you for loving me. Thank you for creating me. Thank you for my family. Thank you for the many gifts you’ve placed in my life. I pray that you will keep all of us safe on the water tomorrow. I pray that you will use me this week for purposes that go way beyond just fishing.
These things I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen!”
Alton Jones – Philippians 4:6-9
Well, The Bassmaster and FLW Tour seasons are finally over. I’ve only been home for a few weeks and I’m already starting to get a little stir-crazy. Guess I’ll have to expend some of my extra energy in a deer stand somewhere (It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it). But aside from all of the fun stuff I’ll get to do this winter I’ll also spend a lot of time preparing for next season, because habitual preparation will help position me for success in the future.
Preparation for next year’s tour involves many different things. First, there’s physical preparation. I’m going through a very rigorous workout schedule with Meske Sports & Physical Therapy. There is a lot of pain during this rebuilding process, but if I want to compete at the highest levels I have to put in the sweat now.
I’ll also spend lots of time practicing my casting. That may seem pretty basic, but I cannot stress enough the importance of having a firm foundation that is grounded in the most fundamental elements of the game.
The season will start in late February at the Bassmaster’s Classic, but there will still be plenty of preparation to do. At each event I have 3 official practice days in order to prepare myself for the tournament. During these practice days I spend my time scouting the water and trying to figure out specific lures and patterns that will be productive. I actually believe that the practice days are far more important than the competition days, because preparation will position me to succeed.
These same principles also apply to other areas of my life such as my relationship with Christ. More than anything else in life I desire to be used by God for His purposes. But, how can I expect to make a difference in the lives of the people around me if I am not prepared spiritually?
In John 15:5 Jesus said: “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” In this verse Jesus calls making a difference “bearing fruit” and He says that apart from Him I can do NOTHING. So the key to making a difference is to stay connected to Him! Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).
But how do I stay connected to Him? How do I draw near? The most important aspect of any relationship is communication, and it’s no different with our connection to Christ. We talk to Him through prayer, and He talks to us through the Scriptures by the power of the Holy Spirit. So, it’s that simple. Pray, read your Bible, and stay in fellowship with others who are loyal to Jesus Christ. I can assure you that habitual preparation will position you for success.
"Take it to the Next Level"
Each season I adopt a slogan that I believe will help me in my fishing and in life in general. For example, my 2006 slogan was "Back to the Basics". For 2007 I'm going to "Take it to the Next Level" in my fishing, my relationship with Jesus Christ, my family, my ministry, etc. This really boils down to just one thing. . . giving my all for God in every area of my life.
Will you Take it to the Next Level" too?
Alton's Christian Testimony
Alton Jones’ Personal TestimonyEverybody called my grandfather “Papa”. He was a very kind and generous man who loved to go fishing as often as possible. I guess that’s where I got it from. We fished together practically every weekend from the time I was 3 until I finished high school. Sure, he taught me a lot about fishing, but it’s the way he lived out his strong faith that really sticks in my mind. Even at such an early age God was placing people in my life to shape me and send me on my journey. His sovereign fingerprints are everywhere. Now, well over a decade into my career as a professional bass fisherman, I often reflect on my past. Looking back at where I’ve been is a great reminder for where I’m going.