They sound like bees in a snit, a low, zizzery, grinding noise.
Wind the knob and eight fish the size of a thumbnail rotate, mouths gaping open, closed. The toymaker has baited the two-inch fishing pole with a magnet the size of a baby tooth.
Wanna play? Connect the swinging, magnetic bait with magnets inside the merry-go-round of motormouths. One flick of the pole lands the fish. Catch and Release.
It takes concentration and patience to pull those fish free. Just ask my 4-year-old grandson.
“I got one!” he cries. And then, as he shakes it into a waiting cup, “There you go, little fishie.”
Catch and Release, revisited
Recently I posted “Catch and Release, a New Angle.”
Since then I have been practicing, along with some of you (as your comments and emails relay), catching self-defeating thoughts, then releasing them.
I make a game of it. How fast can I identify the mouth telling me a lie (usually my own), then let the lie go?
Last week’s game-changer
My husband led me outside. (I grabbed my camera, just in case.)
“Did you mean to do that?” he asked, pointing.
In our backyard cast-off birdcages artfully nestled among perennials. But the blue cage contained a real bird!
Blogger-brain said: Catch this. There’s a lesson here.
I focused the camera. Click. The poor bird flapped against the bars. It must have ducked through the door, causing it to slam behind it.
Click. Zoom in. Click. Scolding chirps came from overhead, maybe the mate.
Why was I chronicling the event when I could be setting a prisoner free?
Chastened—by now the poor bird was throwing itself at the bars—I handed off the camera, then knelt and eased open the door.
The bird cowered in a corner, eyes wild. As if I were the enemy.
Tipping the cage forward, inch by inch, spilled the bird free. Off it sailed—along with its partner, still scolding.
All the other cages were closed. I didn’t remember propping the blue door open. And why would a living creature enter a cage?
Well, catkins and marjoram seeds had dropped through the bars. Bird Bait.
Why didn’t I think of that?
How often has God tipped me free from a trap?—like the expectations of others. Or those I inflict on myself.
Conversely, how often do I inadvertently entrap someone else with my assumptions, or actions? My words, or my expectations?
My friend Roberta, a reader in our online community, put it this way:
“That which I catch affects not only me, but those with whom I interact. It affects my mood, my conversation, my thoughts, my well-being.”
“Being aware of the catch is crucial,” Roberta added. “And the act of releasing is what opens my heart to Christ. And closes the door to the enemy!”
The more we pause during a stressful day to check in with our heart, the sooner we become aware of what hooks us. Or traps us.
If we’re willing to release the bait we mistakenly take, how faithfully Grace works the barb from our lip. Our mind. Our soul.
How gently Grace tips us toward freedom.
“There you go, little fishie.”
MAKING IT PERSONAL:
Do you have an experience with Catch and Release you’d be willing to share with the rest of us?
What’s the Catch?
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