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Topic: Fishing (06/07/04)
TITLE: Wriggling off the hook
By Bronwyn Johnson
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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?