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Blog Post #5: Trout Haven

Fishing | Gospel Reading | Practice Patience | Trust | Virtue | Time

Thursday, September 5, 2019 by Kristen (Kurivial) Hug 

Ever heard of Trout Haven? There are multiple locations around the nation, but the gist is the same, about a billion rainbow trout are thrown into a puddle and the participant’s job is to “catch” a fish. Honestly, they basically hook themselves, that’s how little skill is required. But when the Kurivial crew sauntered over to the water hole with fishing poles in hand, we were in for a rude awakening.

“Fishing will be fun!” they said. They were wrong. It started off so splendidly when, after a minute, I had the first catch of the day. My trout was shortly followed by Katie’s trout, then mom’s, then dad’s. But where, oh where, was Kyle’s trout? To be honest, we really don’t know how he kept losing the fish, but it was not for lack of them biting. Maybe he needed to turn down the bionics when trying to reel them in, or maybe those fish had been planning their escape routes after watching “Finding Nemo,” but whatever the case, Kyle could not catch a fish. One hour passed. Then two. Then three. Everyone was bored out of their minds and begging one trout to offer itself as tribute.

I think the disciples might have been in similar space in today’s Gospel from Luke 5:1-11. They had already been fishing all day without a single catch when Jesus asked them to, once again, lower their nets. I’m not gonna lie, I very much identify with Peter in this scenario. He responded by saying "Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” I don’t even know if I would have said the “but at your command I will lower the nets” part.

Sometimes I lack patience, and when I say sometimes, I really mean almost every moment of my life, but I’m really trying to be better! If I’ve invested what I deem is a sufficient amount of time and energy into a project and am getting no result, I just want to be done. But Jesus doesn’t accept this. He wants us to keep trying, to keep trusting, to practice patience, and to participate in the work He is trying to accomplish.

So Peter tries again and they caught so many fish their nets were tearing. In fact, they had to call in reinforcements from another boat, and then the boats almost sunk because of the bulk of bottom dwellers. Moral of both stories: never go fishing! Just kidding! Serious moral of the story: God works on his own time, and generally in the timeframe that is best for us. If we always get what we want, when we want, how we want, we become spoiled brats. But if we have to work hard, and be patient, it builds character, virtue, and makes us into true disciples as opposed to fair-weather fans or fishermen.

Back to Kyle, God intervened there too in the form of an employee wrapping his arms around Kyle and guiding him in the ways of water whispering. After three hours and three minutes, the flipping of fins could be heard as the trout made the trek from the water into the fishing net and, praise God, this net did not break, and the fish went from Trout Haven to Trout Heaven. Eternal rest grant unto it, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon it. May this trout and all the trout of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.  

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