There’s an old adage, at least in the sweet recesses of my memory, that says, “You usually catch what you fish for.” I was too young to realize at the time I first heard it that it was often used in a more than mildly disparaging manner to blame some unfortunate female who found herself hitched to a man of low character. Folks didn’t seem to take into account that maybe the dude pretended to be nice, considerate, and caring until after they’d married.
Social commentary to the side, there is more than literal truth in the down-home advice, “don’t bait your hook with stink bait if you’re trying to catch trout.” And, if you’re looking to put rainbow in the hold, a muddy farm pond ain’t your best bet on prospects. Fishing and real estate have at least one thing in common: location, location, location.
Perhaps oddly enough, it might seem, it is an early morning contemplation on “peace” that has led me to this particular stream of consciousness.
From time to time, I read or hear people voicing their desire for peace, most often in a personal rather than national or global sense. Sometimes, I find myself taking particular pleasure in settings and experiences that seem to nourish that quality. And, as I think about it, I remember that the scriptures (Psalm 34:14 and others) urge us to “seek peace and pursue it.”
That sounds to me like deliberate effort, self-responsibility, and choice. And it takes me back to the old “catching what you fish for” philosophy. If we seek daily doses of controversy, spend our time reading or listening to people who make their money stirring up discontent or peddling ill will toward others, we can’t expect to find our souls and spirits soothed and comforted. If we spend time provoking others or looking for opportunities to be provoked, we will certainly catch what we’re fishing for.
But it will not be peace.