I’ve noticed lately how the fishermen are getting amped up for the spring tournaments. A recent trip to my local bait shop confirmed my suspicions. There were brochures everywhere promoting those upcoming events. But another thing I’ve noticed is how bad the weather has been lately. I guess it’s normal for this time of year, but there are usually some good weekends when the fishermen can get on the lake, find where the fish are, and experiment with what they might be hitting. If everything stays the way it is now there will be no early preparation. It will be practice as you go. There are, however, a few things that most anglers already have in their bag of tricks; namely that they have done this before. They will begin their pursuit at the places that have produced in times past. That doesn’t mean that success will be certain, only that they will be able to begin with a certain amount of confidence, which is crucial. In fact, one of phrases I’ve heard all my life when it comes to fishing, is “fish with what you’re confident in.” That is, if you are casting some bait without the expectation of a fish biting it, you need to switch; no matter what someone else might tell you. Confidence is undoubtedly important because it affects so many other things. It affects the speed to which you fish, your concentration, and your overall attention that you need to set the hook. Really you can’t say too much about confidence. On the other hand, while confidence might win the moment, it might just lose the day and the tournament. If one has to choose between confidence and certainty, he better choose the latter and adjust his confidence. And this especially goes for things that hold more weight than a fishing tournament.
It amazes me sometimes how individuals can be so set in their ways without any real confirmation that what they are settled on is valid. Many times their confidence has come from another individual who also has no foundation for his or her beliefs. They simply believe something because ‘so and so’ said so – be it a friend or family member. Or this unwarranted confidence has come from a moment of success. For a fisherman it means that just because you had a good day with that bait before, doesn’t mean that it will work every time. Again, it is better to be certain than have confidence.
Now, what about things of eternal consequence? If you have confidence and cannot adequately defend why you have such confidence, then you may be fooling yourself. Certainty will always come from a statement of fact based upon testable evidence. If this is not true in fishing, you may be casting in a bathtub. If this is not true in matters of your faith, you may wake up one day to find that what you put confidence in, left you holding an empty bag at God’s weigh-in.