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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Fishing (06/07/04)

TITLE: Wriggling off the hook
By Bronwyn Johnson
06/11/04

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The problem with “living sacrifices” is that they often hop off the altar when the fire gets too hot. I was learning this the hard way while trying to bait my hook with a slippery worm that was not happy with the situation. Seeing his impending doom, the critter decided that it was in his best interests to make a quick getaway. It had more moves than Michael Jackson in front of a live audience and I did everything I could to keep it on the hook! I thought of using a jelly-baby instead. It looks like a worm. It feels like a worm. But fish are not that easily fooled – it just doesn’t taste as good as a worm.

This exercise got me thinking. If I want to catch a specific fish, I need a particular kind of bait. Fresh water fish like Bass and Carp are caught with lures or spinners. Any fly fisherman will tell you that an Avid fly is a sure winner! Deep-sea fishermen who chase the sporting fish like Marlin usually bait their hooks with other fish. The smell of meat or blood attracts sharks. A different type of bait attracts each species. If you use the wrong bait, you will sit for a long time watching your float bob up and down in the water while snooty fish lift their noses in disgust at your offering. I know, because this was their reaction to my jelly baby.

Fish also feed at different depths. You have top feeders who catch prey on the surface of the water. Middle feeders eat the food that floats toward the bottom. The lowest of all fish are the bottom feeders. These are the vacuum cleaners of the ocean. They eat the waste and leftovers that end up on the ocean floor. Even in the fishy social circles, these are the dregs of society. That is why it is a dreadful insult to say someone is “lower than a shark’s shadow” because you are calling that person a bottom feeder! You are saying that they feed on the waste of humanity.

Christ said to his disciples that he would make them “Fishers of Men”. Whether we intend to or not, we are all fishermen and we are all fish. Our day to day interaction with others attracts people to us and we are attracted to other people. The question is, “The bait that attracts you determines what type of fish you are. So, what bait causes you to bite?” The second question is, “The type of bait you cast out to the water determines the type of fish you will catch. So what are you using to bait your hook?” Are you attracted to materialistic ideals, worldly success, money or wealth? Are you attracted to spiritual matters, the salvation of others or to opportunities that will allow you to make a difference in this world?

God calls us to be living sacrifices for him to use in his calling of sinners to salvation. It is an awesome responsibility that requires complete commitment. It is no easy task, especially as we face difficulties. Are we going to allow our Master to do his work even if it means he sends us to the bottom of the ocean floor? Or are we are the wriggling worms begging to be let off the hook?

Bronwyn Johnson
June 2004-06-11


Member Comments
Member Date
Mary Elder-Criss06/15/04
"Or are we are the wriggling worms begging to be let off the hook?"

I thought your closing was extremely powerful. A well written, thought out article.
Melanie Kerr 06/15/04
Very good! Your knwledge of fishing and bait and levels of feeding was awesome! I need to take some time and look at what kind of bait I am - I am probably in the jelly baby league - and what kind of people I want to attract.
Lynne Gaunt06/16/04
This is a very thought-provoking topic indeed. I remember using a similar illustration with a youth Sunday school class a couple years ago - we were trying to find out what type of bait attracts us. Taking it a step further to realize that we are also bait for others is great. Very well done piece. Keep it up!
WENDY DECKER06/16/04
I THOUGHT YOUR ARTICLE TO BE VERY INFORMATIVE ON FISHING, YET THOUGHT PROVOKING AS WELL. IT WOULD MAKE A GOOD ARTICLE.
Lynda Lee Schab 06/18/04
Well done! I loved the comment comparing the worm's moves to Michael Jackson's - very funny! With all the references to different types of baits that different types of fish go for, I thought you might compare that to different people needing different baits as well -I mean, we should all have Christ-like characters to use as bait but perhaps you could have explored the idea that people respond to different baits - such as, some need to be confronted (or hit over the head with it :)), some people need quiet counsel, and some just need to see examples of how you handle certain situations in your own life. I know from my own experience that not everyone responds to the same type of "bait" in the same way. Just a thought...Blessings!
L.M. Lee06/19/04
this was great! So much good advice in this week's topic. Keep up the good work.
Marcell Billinghurst06/20/04
This is an excellent article. Very well written with great spiritual truths. We recently learn about living sacrfices trying to get off the altar, at Church and Bible study. It is so easy to give our problems or ourselves to the Lord and then take them, or our lives back and try to so it our way instead of God's. Very True. God bless you and keep writing.