I said something last week I haven't said in years. Where it came from, I really don't know. It's funny, you're tooling along minding your own business for weeks, maybe months at a time, and then something you haven't thought about for years pops into your noodle.
I don't remember what brought it on, but I blurted out, "I think I'll just quit everything and go fishin'."
Where the phrase came from is a mystery because I can't remember the last time I went fishing. It's tragic when a person gets so busy he forgets about the truly essential things of life. There is nothing, in my mind (at least that's my wife's opinion) more essential in life than fishing.
In the heart of my tackle box, I am a true-blue fisherman, especially if it's a cold morning and I am waste deep in frigid water.
Two types of people indulge in this business of fishing.
Some take up fishing as a hobby to get away from the rat race of life. And there is nothing like fishing to do just that.
When at work they think of fishing, and when fishing, they think of work. These are not real fishermen, they just play one on their holidays and no self-respecting sporting goods store should be allowed selling them any fishing tackle.
Then there are those who are born fishermen. It's not something they chose, just like nobody chooses the color of their eyes, the color of their skin or what year they were born n although some fudge here a little. My motto: a little fudge is good for your soul. These are just born fishermen and there is nothing they can do about it. Whether it's the sovereignty of God or predestination I'm not sure, I just know it happens.
Sometimes the best thing a person can do is drop everything and just go fishing. If more people did this, it might cut down on the war and violence in our world.
People need to know several things about "going fishin'" and fishermen in general. Fishermen are an abused minority and grossly misunderstood by the general population. As far as I know there is no voice standing up for these poor souls. Maybe its because voices can't stand and then there are some voices I can't stand.
In the first place, fishing has everything to do with the equipment n and not just any equipment will do. In some regards, it takes a lifetime to acquire the proper equipment to go fishing. This is where the true-blue fishermen are greatly misunderstood.
No true-blue fisherman would ever think of going fishing without his lucky hat. Going fishing without your lucky hat is like going to a restaurant without your appetite; what's the point?
This essential part of his fishing equipment is lucky because it hosts several lucky fishing lures and flies, all meticulously arranged around the hat, representing some story associated with his fishing adventures. Some stories may be true, but not all, and in time the owner of the hat can't remember which are true and which are not.
Another misnomer about going fishing has to do with catching fish. Let me state right here that catching fish has absolutely nothing to do with going fishing. In fact, no true fisherman would ever go fishing with the idea of catching any fish. For the most part, it is the furthest thing from his mind.
When a fisherman goes fishing and catches a fish, he has nothing to talk about. And whatever else a fisherman loves doing, it is talking.
If, for example, a fisherman goes fishing all day and catches 20 fish, there is only one subject he will talk about when he gets back. No, it is not the 20 fish he caught. After all, they are right in front of you; what else is there to say about it?
If the biggest fish, for instance, is 13 inches he cannot exaggerate and say it is 18 inches. The presence of the fish precludes stretching the truth, not that a fisherman would lie - he just improves on the truth as he sees it.
Often, when a fisherman does catch a fish he throws it back under the pretense of it not being big enough.
The singular subject of a fisherman's talk when returning from fishing is simply, "the one that got away." No matter how big his biggest catch of the day is, the one that got away out-scales them all.
He may never have seen that fish, but it has nothing to do with his recitation of the one that got away. Something about that fish, whether real or imaginary, stirs the imagination of a true-blue fisherman. And, whether he saw that fish or not, he can talk for weeks, months and even years about that one.
A real fish in time spoils and eventually stinks; however, the one that got away always improves with age.
I find myself in good company in this area. No less a person than the apostle Peter did the same thing. He was frustrated and didn't know what to do so he did the thing that came natural to him.
"Simon Peter saith unto them, I go fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing." (John 21:3 KJV.)
I did not go fishing last week but just the thought of it was an amazing elixir to my spirit.
The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores.
Contact him by calling 687-4240. His e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is http://www.whatafellowship.com
Rev. Snyder's new book, You Can Always Tell A Pastor (But Not Very Much), is available. Rev. Snyder is host to the weekly radio program, Sunday Joy, each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. on WOCA, 1370 AM.