Most of us have gone fishing at some time in our life. Perhaps your father, mother, grandfather or uncle took you, as a little boy or little girl, down to the pond to let you try to catch your first fish. What a great experience for a child!
When I was very young, my grandfather walked with me down a long dirt road to a nearby lake. Before we left, he said we needed to have our poles, our hooks and some bait. I was holding the long cane poles and I was aware of the hook because I did not want to get it in my finger! In my grandfather’s hand was a box of big, red wigglers. (I can see some of you smiling now!) They were the fattest, juiciest worms you have ever seen in your life, especially if you were a bird or a fish! He told me it was very important to have good bait if we wanted to catch any fish.
When we got to the lake, Grandpapa showed me how to put the hook through the worm. He cautioned me to do it very carefully so that the fish would not see the hook. “You only want the fish to see the bait,” he said. He helped me to carefully put my worm on my hook several times until I got the hang of it. After a while we started catching fish and it was so much fun! I can still feel my pole jerking and the red bobber going under, as I got my first bite! That is a fond memory that will last throughout my lifetime.
As I have gotten older, I have often been reminded of what my grandfather said to me that hot summer day, “You don’t want the fish to see the hook. You only want the fish to see the bait.” When it comes to fishing that is a very important concept. It is true indeed that you do not want the fish to know that you are trying to catch him. Fishing is sneaky business! If you want to eat some fish for dinner, your fishing trip will be wasted if you don’t catch some fish! So profound!
When it comes to dealing with other situations each one of us should be careful, so we do not purchase something that looks like good bait, but we later end up getting hooked. How many of us have bought a car, or gotten in on a “once-in-a-lifetime deal”, or were offered some incredible opportunity, only to later find out that, while the bait looked great, there was a “hook” in the middle of it?
Years ago, I hired someone to enclose a carport at our home. He bragged that he was the best builder in town and gave me what looked like some very good numbers. He told me all he needed was $300 to start the job. I should have first checked a few of his references because he did not show up to do the work even though he pocketed my money. Later I discovered that he had taken my $300 to pay off building materials from his prior job. In fact, instead of working on my project, he was out trying to find another job so that he would have the down payment money to buy the supplies he needed to get my project started. In other words, he was always one job behind. He had great bait, but I got caught on his hook.
Why not be a little more careful when it comes to dealing with situations like that? I am not saying that we should go through life not trusting other people, but I am saying that it is important to realize that the “juicy bait” will always look better to you than the “painful hook” will feel inside of you! After all, the hook is the one thing carefully hidden that some people intentionally do NOT want you to know about or see.
I have had so many good deals thrown my way. Perhaps you have had some come your way as well. Hopefully all of us are now a little wiser when it comes to the bait and hook scenario. Just be aware that not everything that shines is gold and not everything that looks good really is good. If you are at least alerted to the possibility that a hook may be involved somewhere in the situation, it will cause you to be much wiser in your dealings with everyone and may keep you from getting “caught”. Remember, just because there is bait on the hook does not mean that you have to bite it! Learn to swim away! You will be glad you did!
Tip: Watch out for the hook!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm