Friday, November 30, 2012

Five guys and two fish: The Bucket of Hope

I think old age and the 'realities' of the world can tend to make the most bright eyed and optimistic of us jaded and cynical. It was with this mentality that I laughed, rather loudly, when several of my young friends, with not a lot of fishing experience and on their first joint fishing trip together, brought along a bucket. The bucket of course, they said, was for the fish. For the fish!. They actually expected to catch some fish! 

My amusement was indeed great and I spoke about young kids being naive and optimistic. I was young too, once, and optimistic with a touch of naivete. I ventured, as an experienced fisherman, to teach one chap how to fish and how to feel a bite and reel it in. To my great amazement and shock, the chap actually caught a fish. It was indeed a small measly thing and they decided to just cut the line and leave the hook in the fish's mouth as it swam in the bucket, but there it was, an actual legitimately caught fish, swimming there. There were others who were fishing there was well, aside from our young company, and most gave up after a while and none caught anything that I saw. Most were just giving the fish a buffet as oftentimes, the hooks came back minus the bait. I was still reeling from amazement from this catch when the same young chap caught ANOTHER fish. It soon joined it's companion in the bucket, swimming there obliviously, with a hook in it's mouth too.

I gained an invaluable lesson from this. The Lord had obviously deigned to teach me. I remember having loudly proclaimed that I'd jump into the sea ( a serious promise indeed for one who cannot swim) if each of the 3 fellas caught a fish. Well, only one of them caught anything and it was 2 fish, but still... The lesson I learned was that sometimes, we should shed our cynicism and just be more optimistic and trustful of Providence and the HOPE that optimism brings with it. We just need to see the world in all it's possibilities through the eyes of those who have not been so disappointed by the realities of the world as to abandon earthly hope.

Indeed, I'll always remember those 2 fish (which were fed to a stray cat, hooks and all, I was told) because they stand as the symbol of hopes fulfilled and the simple yet great joys that a realized hope brings. As the season of Advent approaches and we hope for the Second Coming of Our Lord, I am now refreshed and filled with great hopes of the boundless joy that His Coming will bring. Maranatha.