The other day I was out fishing on my hot spot and catching bass. It was then that I realized when you fish in Michigan in 30 degree air temp people watch. I was fishing near some guys working on railroad tracks and every so often they would watch me bring in a bass or two. There is also a bridge near where I was fishing and people walking over would stop and watch me. I had pulled in 12 good bass over a few hours. I hooked into a big fish; it took me a few minutes to fight it back to the boat. I got it within a foot of the side of the boat, and could see the silhouette of this large fish 6 to 8 inches under the water, when it happened: I went for the net and my line snapped!
For a split second I almost had what my wife refers to as an “Ike” moment. If you have been around bass fishing most people know Mike Iaconelli. Ike has a tendency to lose his cool when things go wrong. There have been times when I have had an “Ike” moment. Once when my wife and I were fishing our second team tournament last year, I was slow rolling a spinner bait over a log, the spinner bait got caught on heavy braided line someone had cut and left in the water. As the spinner bait hung up, the tip of my rod broke. The “Ike” in me came out; I ripped the bait caster off my rod and snapped the rod over my knee. Not one of my best moments. But the other day when the line broke and I lost that fish which almost resulted in another uncontrolled moment. Luckily the “brain to mouth” filter caught me before profanities fell out of my mouth.
As a Christian I try to be a light to others around me. With people watching I’m glad I didn’t let the string of profanities come flying out of my mouth. What kind of example would that have been? It would have been a poor one. One of the first verses I ever memorized when I became a Christian was Ephesians 4:29, which says: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” I truly believe that the words we as Christians use can affect our witness with those around us. Instead of screaming all the words that came rushing up when my line broke, I just screamed “NO!” and might have stamped my feet like a little kid. But I know that I kept my witness to those watching me fish. I never told them I was a Christian but hopefully they saw that I was different from the world.