Consider the Bait

Growing up I had a brother who always fished. He could stare at a lake, a pond, a river for hours on end with a fishing pole attached at the end of his hand. I never understood the fascination, the patience, or desire to fish. Nor did I understand the fish who finally came biting. Could they not see that easy food was attached to something much more insidious? Maybe they could, but they just could not help themselves.

I still do not get the whole fishing thing…give me a good book on the banks of the water and I’ll join you fishing all day long, but do not try and put a pole in my hand. As far as the fish goes, I think I get that part a little more clearly. Like most creatures, we like the fish, tend to be attracted to that which looks desirable. Sometimes we pause and evaluate the cost of such desires but more often than not, we abandon our sense of evaluation and go for the allure.

But if we settle for that which just looks attractive, that which offers an easy answer, an easy out…perhaps in reality we are just choosing something that will not truly satisfy and may even be to our detriment. The reality is that which is good for us, that which helps us, that which makes us stronger is that which we work at to some degree. Not constant rigor, but constant consideration. I sometimes think of that when I see some delicious piece of—brownie, ice cream, chips and guacamole—(fill in your own blank) I pause and remember that if I do this indulgence, if I spring for the thing that looks so tantalizing, all I will do is be satisfied for that one small moment and then I will be punished—either by regret or by a belly ache.

I am not an advocate of deprivation. And, I do not claim great self control. What I do know is that when we are offered that lure of something that seems possibly too good to be true, perhaps that’s an opportunity to tread a little water before getting hooked on the wrong line.

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