Pastor and I used to fish quite often. At times we actually caught fish. Fishin’ when there was time in his schedule; usually on Tuesdays since that was his day off. Suited me. We even named it “Typical Tuesday”.
. . . “Another Typical Tuesday?,” one of us would say and the other would follow,
“How ’bout 6:30? We can try to wake them up as the sun rises.”
“Sounds good to me.”
“I’ll pick you up.”
We always had a great time. Even a little sprinkle did not dampen our spirits. Thunder storms always put a real big K-I-N-K in the plans, though.
Of course when the haul wasn’t too big we would remind each other that, “the active feeding time for catching the most fish would be on Sunday morning.” You know, just the time we were not able to get out on the water because of our impeccable attendance at church.
. . .Kinda wondered if he might “put a line” in a sermon about how many we caught, or more likely, how many we did not catch, which might be embarrassing. Truthfully, I have been relieved that none of this “zero-catch stuff” has been declared from the pulpit for all to hear, and thereto, for all to comment upon whenever the urge might hit them. Usually at inappropriate times as when a person, I will not mention any names, is trying to make themselves look good.
. . . But, I am glad that has NEVER happened to me. . .
We each have a variety of tactics at our disposal as situations arise. My “arsenal” leans towards the artificial side, but does include natural baits as well. Top water baits are good. The smash, crash, bam — you have to think BAM, sudden-like — when a fish breaks the surface and pulls the lure under.
Bam! Smash! Just picture the splashing, noise and all.
There you go — now you have the picture. If the water is clear enough you can see the fish catapulting up to grab the thing.
Pardon me, but right now I think I’ll take a break from writing and go fishing.
Pastor mostly fishes below the surface. I don’t know, maybe it’s the “deep”, personal counseling side of his personality? Anyway there he is cranking at the reel using different speeds or twitches. Here is where it becomes difficult: you are spinning the line in when there’s a tug at the other end. You think, “FISH,” . . . or is it, say, a rock that you lure has caught upon? Or worse yet — the dreaded limb of an entirely submerged tree. This can be a real problem. If you set the hook into a submerged tree you might as well say, “Sayonara,” to that frog green, scale imitating, bug-eyed, two-segmented, flashy, double-jointed, trout fry, your daughter-bought-specially-for-your-birthday lure. And every time this happens there is neither fish nor even a good fish story to show for it.
One day pastor said, as we were “out there”, we should fish for people. I took me a second to process this out-of-the-blue quirk. But, I have — I repeat, have — read my Bible, so I quipped, “So, you want me to fish from the other side of the boat?” (Jesus had pointed out one day the other side of the boat was where the nets would catch fish.) He grinned, “We’ll get there.”
I felt as though I we were to be spending more time on this subject.
Pastor pipped, “Really, I was reflecting that as you try to tell the Good News, people can be like fish. Some nibble, others spit it out, a few grab the lure and run with it. Very seldom, but now and again a fish jumps right in the boat.”
I can go along with the fish jumping right into the boat. It would be a time saver! and a few less lures coming up missing. Evangelism has not been one of my strong points so I was feeling a little queasy about the topic.
I said, “I see your point of people accepting God in different ways. They have to see things on their own terms. Right?”
“Okay. So, look around you and where would you like to fish now?”
“How about the reed bed a football field away?” He turned the boat to the left. “Now how do you think you want to fish it?”
With conviction I answered, “A frog green, scale imitating, bug-eyed, two-segmented, flashy, double-jointed, trout fry, my daughter-bought-specially-for-my-birthday lure!”
Pastor smiled and I heard, “That’s what I thought you might say. I like that lure also. Even better since your daughter bought it for you. So you’ll be running it beneath the surface, but not too deep or it will be in the muck.”
Story is to be continued. . .