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Oceans For Emotions: You have to follow the directions

Sept. 15, 2010 at 4:15 a.m.
Updated Sept. 17, 2010 at 4:17 a.m.

Elaine Wheat

By Elaine Wheat

"Commit thy way into the Lord. Trust in Him and He shall bring it to pass."

Psalms 37:5

Today, I broke down and bought myself a fishing game that I could play on my computer. Because I have been living through the monsoon season in South Texas, I haven't been able to go fishing in a long time, and I was going through fishing withdrawals. Even though my virtual, interactive fishing game cost more than live bait, it came with all the "bells and whistles" of reality, except that I could sit in my dry house, in my computer chair and never get stinky or wet.

In my game, I could choose any one of seven fishing areas from nationwide bays, gulfs or deep seas. Then, I got my choice of boats, rods and reels, lures or live bait, and even, now get this, what kind of fish I wanted to catch, all chosen with a click of a mouse.

After a couple of crashes, I steered my tri-hulled blue and white boat with a 125-horsepower motor out of the harbor, past the jetties, through the surf, and into a shallow, sand-bottomed cove. I used my chosen spinning rod with 12-pound test line and chartreause and hot pink Gulp to fish for flounder that just laid there waiting for me, according to the sonar fish finder on my virtual boat.

With a click of the mouse, I cast right on top of a big, waiting flounder that woke up and took the bait. Then it swam away and my computer screen had the nerve to flash a red warning that said, "You didn't set the hook."

I have fished for flounder all of my life, and I definitely know exactly when to set a hook, and I confidently screamed that at my flat computer screen. All it said was for me to re-read the directions on "how to set the hook." We argued like that for several minutes, but the electronic demon would not change its pre-programmed mind. It surely reminded me of other people I have fished with before, so I shut up and re-read the directions.

It didn't seem to know or care who it was messing with, and all it would tell me was to move the mouse upward. I had to repeat the whole choosing process again, find my flounder that took the bait, and I confidently moved my mouse and cursor upward. That awful answer appeared again "You didn't set the hook." I moved the mouse up, over, straight up in the air, and was about to swing it over my head into my own computer screen when a new message appeared that informed me that my time was up, and I had caught zero fish. All I had learned is that I do know why they call that mouse-thing a cursor!

Dear Lord, In Your real world, help us be committed to catching your Spirit so that You can become our Keeper.

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