A Corn-y Fish Tale


Yesterday I was invited to go out fishing for Kokanee Salmon with a member of our church. Some of you may know him as Karl Brackman.  We were out on Lake Stevens in Karl’s boat, and believe it or not we caught actually caught some Kokanee.  What a beautiful fish! As we were out fishing a couple of lessons about life came to me that I’d like to share with you.

The first one happened while Karl and his friend, Doug, were rigging up the lines.  The boat was trolling along, and Karl asked me if I wanted to steer.  Me, Brook McBride, the captain of a boat?  I couldn’t wait! Without asking I jumped in the captain’s chair, grabbed hold of the steering wheel, and started navigating.  We were just using the trolling motor, so it wasn’t like we were going super-fast or anything, but I must tell you that I was kind of getting a kick out of being in control! Isn’t it great to be in control?!  But as I continued in my “captain” role, I noticed the boat didn’t seem to respond the way I would have liked.  At first, I chalked it up to being on the water and kept the “captain” delusion pumping through my veins.  About 3 minutes later, Karl tapped me on the shoulder and smiled as he gave me a small remote-control device.  “Ah, Brook, that steering wheel doesn’t actually work!  I use this little remote to steer.”  

Here I was, thinking that I was in control of that boat, when in reality someone else, way better qualified than I, was in control.  Isn’t that the way life is.  We get this delusional idea that somehow, we are in control of things, when in truth someone with much more vision that we have is the one guiding our life!  The key to all of this, of course, is to give up our delusions, and begin to let God guide our lives.   We are at our best when God is doing the designing and we are learning how to cooperate with God’s work in our lives.

The second lesson involves a can of corn!  While Karl and Doug were rigging up the fishing lines, I couldn’t believe my eyes to see that on each hook they placed one kernel of corn!  Come on aren’t these guys fishing connoisseurs? Aren’t they both members of the East Side fishing club, where they’ve listened to expert after expert tell them the latest technologies in catching fish?   I mean this isn’t some farm pond out back, this is the PNW!  And the best we have is a piece of corn.  As I watched I kind of chuckled and said, “Gee guys, I used corn when I was a 7-year-old catching blue gills.”  Doug then turned and shared that this wasn’t just any corn.  This was Green Giant White Shoepeg Corn.  And there has been extensive research into this, and the research says that for some reason Kokanee Salmon love Green Giant White Shoepeg Corn!   “In fact,” Doug shared, “They don’t make this corn in Canada anymore and the Canadian fisherman are really upset about it.  They have to travel all the way to the US just to buy Green Giant White Shoepeg Corn!”  

A couple of thought came to my mind as I contemplated this.  One is that when it comes right down to it, the simple truth is the best.  Don’t get too fancy.  Sometimes a simple can of corn will do the trick.  I think this is true when preaching the gospel or trying to share our faith.  We think we need some fancy quote, or some fancy video equipment, but in the end it’s not the quote or the equipment that matters. It’s each of us sharing the simple truth of God’s love! 

That thought might seem to contradict my next truth: sometimes in order to reach folks, we must get specific.  Kokanee salmon like Green Giant White Shoepeg Corn.   Families with children have specific needs too, and the church needs to try to meet them.  Newly retired adults have specific needs that are different than families with children.  How can the church be strategic in how it tries to meet the spiritual needs of other?  In order to do that we need to keep listening to those groups to hear what they need to take their next step spiritually.

My last thought is simply this: God can work through anything to get to us…even a can of Green Giant Shoepeg Corn!

Your friend and pastor, enjoying a nibble of corn, Brook

Tim Schaaf