Getting Ahead: ‘Taking the bait’


I have a workshop in my back yard that is built on piers. Because of this we get all types of animals wanting to make a home under it. Every so often I set live traps and it is amazing how many of those animals I am able to trap. There are raccoons, opossums, skunks, and one time a cat.

Almost anytime I want, I can put some food in a live trap and those animals will walk right in. They do that because I bait the trap with food that they like. That bait is just lying there and all they have to do is walk in and eat it. They do not have to hunt or do any work for the food; but once they walk in and eat it, they have lost their freedom and are totally under my control.

Recently I received a letter informing me that I had won an android table. All I had to do was fill out a short survey and call an 800 number. I looked at it, thought about the value of what they were offering me for nothing, and what I could do with that table. Then something urged me to give it a second thought. We get countless solicitation calls on our home telephone and I thought that this could increase the number of those calls. As a matter of fact, we are getting so many of these calls that we don’t even answer our home phone anymore. We just keep it in case there is a cell phone outage.

That android tablet was bait to draw me in by offering something for nothing. There is an old expression; “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” There have been factories that paid a good wage that have been torn down to build a casino that pays minimum wage and takes over because there is this desire in us to get something for nothing. That desire is the element that draws people into playing the lottery time and time again when they don’t have enough money for food, clothing and shelter.

What is it in us that will make us so excited about the possibility of getting something for nothing? Even if we don’t take the bait, are we tempted to? How can we know the truth and still think that the odds will work out differently for us? Are we all wanting a short cut in life or is it something deeper that drives us?

These and other life questions will be addressed Sunday morning as “The Gathering Place Family” meets in the Washington Junior High School Library for Bible Study at 9:30 and in the gymnasium at 10 a.m. for our Pre-Service Connection where we enjoy coffee, juice and donuts. Our Worship Service and Children’s Church then begins at 10:30. Come at 7 p.m. and be part of our Wednesday night Bible Study and Children’s Ministry on the third floor above Trends at 120 W. Court St. in Washington Court House.

By John G. Pfeifer

Religion Columnist