I like to fish…hook, bait and bobber. I’m not a “cast and crank” person…I’m a “bobber watcher”. Yes, there is nothing better than sitting quietly and watching for any slight movement of your bobber in the water, alerting you to a potential catch. I must admit, I even enjoy the “false alarms” of a tugging wave or nibbling bait fish. Just sitting on a water’s edge and experiencing hope is a thrill. I had forgotten about this simple joy in life until a recent boating trip. As friends and I sat on the dock we decided to drop in a fishing line, baited with hot dog chunks, just to play with the crabs as they stole the bait and scurried away. To our amazement, and that of anyone else, we actually caught a fish! Immediately memories of fishing off defunct bridges and sea shores with my parents came flooding back and, pardon the pun, I was hooked. My renewed interest was further fueled when I landed a HUGE catfish on another boating day. So…to my delight, Santa brought me fishing gear and tackle this year! I am almost giddy with anticipation of potential fishing success…so much so that when the house was quiet and no one else home I snuck off to a local dock to test out my new toys. Yes, it was quite cold Monday afternoon, but the sun was shining and there was ample radiant heat to make you toasty in between gusts of wind. Fellow fishermen passed by the dock on their bass boat and inquired what I was fishing for…note to self, when asked this question in the future…lie. Apparently it is not cool to announce proudly you are after catfish when one is fishing on the Potomac. Alas, there would be no catfish catching victories this day…but that is okay. I had a quiet, relaxing time in the sun and watching my bobber.
As I sat on the dock and considered my bobber watching delight I thought of Simeon. I know, I know…you were thinking of him too right? Some of you may recall in the telling of Christmas events that there was a man in Jerusalem whom the Bible calls “righteous and devout”. Luke 2:21-32 tells us that Simeon had been told by the Hoy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the savior of Isreal(the Lord’s Christ). Scriptures tell us he was “waitng”…talk about “bobber watching”. Simeon must have eyed each young man who came to the temple as the potential “one”…just as I eye each bob of my bobber as a signal. Did he stare down temple visitors in a way that made them uneasy in his desire to not “miss” the savior? For bobber watchers like me knowing the difference between a fish and an errant wave or crab comes from experiencing a fish on your line and learning how it feels. How did Simeon know when he saw Jesus that it was him? Verse 27 tells us he was moved by the Spirit and recall he was known as a “righteous and devout” man. Simeon watched and waited…but he also made sure he stayed connected/devoted to God. I think that is why he did not miss the Christ child’s arrival. If Christ came today, would I recognize him? Do I eagerly wait on the hand of God and look for His working in my life with the same intensity and joy with which I watched the bobber at the end of my line? Hmmmm….I hope in 2009 we all find it easier to wait on God, see Him in our world, and seek Him with the anticipation and hope of a bobber watching fisherman.