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Father, Son, Holy Mackerel - Chapter 1

Jun 6, 2008
I can count the times I joined my dad on a fishing expedition on one hand, actually on three fingers. But those three fishing adventures were unforgettable indeed! I was an inquisitive seven-year-old and was ecstatic about going fishing with my father.

Whenever I threw out the line, I caught something -- and my lines never even hit the lake. On my first attempt, I hooked my father's favorite fishing hat, yanking it unceremoniously off his head. I remember his initial irritation turning to amusement as he helped me reel his hat in. I also remember how the wet hat looked on his head. He refused to fish without it.

On our second fishing trip, I hooked the back of my jacket -- twice! I did succeed in capturing several fish. It wasn't many. I recall they were little, and I learned how to talk fisherman's talk. I discovered what is meant by 'catch and release.' If the fish are too puny, you toss them back!

I'd catch a tiny cat fish or snag a turtle and glance at my dad and ask, 'Release?' And he would nod his decision. When it came to fishing, I wasn't giving Dad much to celebrate.

On my third and last fishing expedition with Dad, I snagged his left ear lobe. I didn't mean to do it! But I hooked it good! I didn't have to ask about 'catch and release' that time. I remember thinking, "Holy mackerel, is he going to throw me overboard?"

When I look back on those fishing fiascos with my dad, I realized that our time together was the valuable thing. After I 'hooked and released' I preferred to immerse myself in a book, take/jot down notes, and compose something of my own while Dad fished. I didn't realize it then, but those initial writing projects were the beginning of my writing career.

My father enjoyed catching fish -- and I enjoyed catching ideas. Later I learned they're the same thing. I also discovered that most fishermen catch their best fish by the tale -- TALE -- and I learned nothing grows as fast as a fish from the time it bites until it slips away.

I have another fish story for you. It comes from the Gospel of John -- John 21:1-6. But it's more than just a fish story. It's about how the brain works.

If you take this story at face value, seven fishermen took the advice of a person who never fished in the pond, so to speak. Obviously, there's more to the story than meets the eye. Metaphysically, this story has incredible truths to teach us:

There are seven disciples identified: Simon Peter (faith), John (love), Thomas (understanding), Nathaniel -- who is the same as Bartholomew -- (imagination), James, son of Jebedee (wisdom), and two more un-named disciples who were probably Simon, the Cananaean (Zeal), and James, son of Alphaeus (order). These seven disciples symbolize the spiritual qualities which help us in manifesting ideas.

Sea of Tiberias = the spiritual insights we can gain when we apply our spiritual powers

Fish = spiritual ideas. (In verse 11 it says the disciples caught 153 large fish -- which they didn't 'catch and release' -- 153 represents the number of known species of fish at the time of this Gospel story. When we connect with Spirit, we have access to an inexhaustible supply of ideas)

Net = Our mind, which catches ideas

Fishing at night from the left side of the boat = literally means we are fishing in the dark if we try to understand spiritual truths from a left-brained material consciousness

Right Side = Always indicates the side of truth. It also stands for the right side of our brain, our intuitive side, our creativity.

So, when we operate out of our sense consciousness (Fish at night), we can work like crazy, but end up empty. However, when we connect with Spirit and practice truth principles (fish from the right side of the boat), we can tap into an inexhaustible supply of Divine Ideas which bring us the abundance, peace and happiness we want.

Holy mackerel! All we need to do is harmonize both sides of our brain to capture Divine Ideas. It just takes drawing on a little bit of our "net" worth.
About the Author
Drs. Bil & Cher Holton are Spiritual Leaders at Unity Spiritual Life Center in Durham, NC, where they practice positive, practical, progressive Christianity. Visit their website at Unity Spiritual Life Center and sign up to receive a complimentary 4-week e-course.
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