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Fishers of Men

I was driving through the country the other day and I had a flash of nostalgia when I crossed a small wooden bridge. I flashed back to a time when my dad used to take me fishing when I was young. While we cast our lines and waited for something to take hold our minds would wonder and the shower effect would kick in. We would discuss all kinds of issues from school to the universe to baseball. But there was one discussion that I would never forget. One topic changed everything, forever. 


There you are swimming along the endlessly expansive, constantly changing,  free open ocean, without a care in the world, and you spot it. The bait. Something shiny. Something sparkling. Something wiggling. It looks different from what you’re used to having. You are tired of plankton and the monotony of algae,  so you go after it. You take and risk and put yourself on the line. The absolute second you chomp down you know something is very wrong. You fight and pull but sooner or later you come to grips with the reality of the inevitable and you just let go. You're caught hook line and sinker. Everything you thought about that morsel of food was wrong when you find out the real person at the end of the line. 


There are now two options. One, she can rescue you from that hook, kiss you, jump and cheer, pose with you in pictures, weigh, skin, gut and eat you. Or she can throw you back. No big deal right, there are other fish in the sea. But the reality is that once you’re back in that water the chances of you biting down on some fake squiggly bait is slim to none. You learned you lesson once and have a inch wide hole in your cheek to prove it. 


But, there is another option. One so remote in possibility that it isn't included in feasible scenarios. Miracles do happen, where the stars align and all your work, all your risk, and all your courage pays off. A hand reaches into that cold dark water and you are plucked out by an unknown force and the course of your previously swimming existence has changed. The hand thrust onto the stage, behind the glass, or in the aquarium, where you are presented to the world. They judge you based on your worth and size, and pick a destiny for you that you cannot control. Will you play shows at Sea World for the next twenty years for a few grouper or will you be sent to the pet store, or worse, the carnival. 


And in that one in a million case, where you are disregarded, underestimated, misunderstood or glanced over, you are saved. You are introduced to a cozy bowl in the loving embrace of a kind soul, who feeds you, talks to you, makes funny faces at you, and loves you completely. You are hers, and she is yours. Sure she may flush you down the toilet someday, but at least you had your time together. And if you’re lucky you will spend the rest of our days sleeping soundly and snug inside a tea box in her backyard.

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