Thursday, February 23, 2012

Good Fishing

Not too long ago, I went out to dinner and heard a gentleman speaking about a fish catch which involved God.  The story went like this:

The man went out to his favorite spot on the lake to fish, but the weather and time of day was not  right for catching fish.  He cast his line into the water a couple times without even the slightest bite.

Something was on his mind, and, knowing the conditions were awful for fishing, and being a religious man, he prayed to God for a sign.  The sign he asked for was to catch a fish.  He told God that it didn't matter how big it was, and it didn't matter if he caught any other fish while he was out that day.

The very next time he cast his line into the water, he got a bite, and quickly at that.  At that moment, he knew that God had just answered his prayer, and a great happiness and peace came over him.

He reeled his catch in to find a rather meager looking bass.  He tossed it back into the water, and kept on fishing for another couple hours.  He never had another bite that entire time.

It's easy to scoff at such a "sign."  It's just coincidence.  It's certainly not a rigorous sign like we find Gideon requesting in Judges 6:36-40, where Gideon requests God to make dew to form on some wool fleece one night, and then asks God to make dew form on everything except the wool fleece the following night, just to be sure.  But so what?

This gentleman had asked for this sign because he was concerned about his wife, who had recently passed away under distressed circumstances.  This woman was the love of his life, and he just wanted a sign from God that she was OK in the afterlife.  For him, this fish catch was that sign.

It is hard to justify challenging such a man's faith.  Clearly, in this case, his faith that God provided a sign lifted a great burden from his heart.

Yet, at the same time, there comes the realization that the heavy burden this man carried in his heart was because of that religion.  If there was no afterlife to worry about, then this man's heart would have been free from that addition burden beyond the tragic loss of his beloved wife.

Religion is messy.  Be careful.


  1. Replies
    1. No, that's not me. I'm not a fi..., um, person who spends time fishing. ;-)

  2. Life is messy. Be religious

    1. Well, that may not be a bad solution, but how you go about it is pretty important.

  3. As you said, it would take a very cruel person to deny this man the comfort he received from what he believed to be an answer to God, but in other circumstances, I would challenge him on this. Signs from God in the Bible are anything but ambiguous.

    Religion is indeed messy. Avoid it! But don't miss out on having a relationship with God. Even you, Wise Fool, have a relationship with God, in a way. Yeah, you don't believe he exists, but if he were to suddenly appear to you, the two of you would have a whole lot to talk about, and a lot of history. I think that qualifies as a relationship, in some strange way. As much as you dislike him (yes, it *is* possible to dislike someone who you don't believe exists), the fact remains that you have spent countless hours learning about him (even if for all the wrong reasons), and to him that is far more valuable than choosing to have nothing to do with him, as so many people do. And I, too, greatly respect that about you. You could've decided long ago to ignore God and spend your time pursuing the typical pleasures of this world, but instead you decided to devote yourself to the study of the Bible. You're an interesting man.

    1. Yeah, if God does exist, I sure do hope He gives me some partial credit for showing my work. ;-)

  4. No, Sabio, that's not him with the fish. He has no time to fish, because his nose is always in the Bible. ;-)

    Whoever that is, though, is in for a surprise if he ever stumbles upon this page! That's one hell of a fish he's got there.

    1. I snagged the pic off of a Google search, trying to pick something that was in the public domain, so to speak.

      And yes, that is quite the catch! No wonder he took the photo!