Thursday, October 01, 2009
Detecting the Lie
Last Friday I had a magical afternoon with my good friend Brad who is vacationing here from Hawaii. We decided to “biyak” (paddle down by kayak and pedal back up by bike) the “yoyo stretch” of the Green River. The air was fresh, clean and the temperature just perfect as we paddled down the sparkling clear river on this lazy early fall afternoon.
As we glided down the river Pink Salmon were coming back up from the ocean, thousands of them right under our kayaks. Salmon coming back to spawn (lay their eggs) is truly a miracle. How these fish can go out into the sea from a stream and several years later swim all the way back through every conceivable barrier to spawn and die at the same spot they were born to me is one of the amazing wonders of God’s creation.
Brad, an avid fisherman, was fascinated by a river so full of fish. I asked him if it was legal to try to catch them and he informed me that these were already “humping,” forming an ugly hump on their back indicating they were not good to eat, kind of mushy I guess. But down the river, before they got into this condition, they could be caught with a license as long as a fisherman kept to his limit.
The second question I had for Brad was, “How do you catch these salmon; do you just reach your hand or net in and pull them out?” That apparently isn’t legal (nor "very sporting”). But the normal way of catching fish, using bait that is an attractive food does not work for these salmon. The reason is that they are coming up to the river to spawn and die and they are not interested in eating at this time. I guess food doesn’t have the same appeal when you are getting near death–maybe like offering peanuts and crackers to passengers on a sinking Titanic.
As I am facilitating a men’s group right now where we are working through the overcoming of sin in our lives, I thought about this image of fish biting on a hook. Generally, when we are attracted to sin, we are fooled to believe that what is before us will fulfill a hunger we have–just like a hungry fish lunging at the deceptive promise of a fisherman's bait.
As I seek to live free from the baits that draw me to sin, I need to “detect the lie” that is packed around the deadly hook like a tempting morsel of food. I find that once I can detect the lie that is overlaying the destructive habit or harmful behavior it is easier for me to not keep falling for it. And, by God’s grace, I can grow up to be like a bait-wise fish who learns to pass on those little “happy meals” that are really just a little too good (and costly) to be true.
Happy To Be Hooked On Jesus,
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