I do not like catfish. Or any fish, for that matter.
But I do like the sign on the marquee of a local eating establishment in our fare city, which proclaims to the masses on Hwy. 31, “Eat catfish and be somebody.” It makes me smile every time I ride by.
I thought it was just the creative thinking of some bored restaurant manager, trying to get our attention, but I looked it up and found that it is apparently the slogan for the whole national chain. Still, it’s pretty funny, if not a little misguided.
For one, the logic is somewhat little flawed. I don’t know if they are saying that you have to eat catfish to be somebody, or the fact that you do seals the deal, but either way I don’t think that is accurate. I know several somebodies who don’t eat catfish–and for that matter, I think I know a few nobodies who do. To be, or not to be somebody, is not determined by whether you partake of the flesh of a bottom-feeding fish.
I’m guessing the point of the slogan and sign, even if tongue-in-cheek, is an attempt to tap into our insecure, self-actualizing culture’s need to “make it”–to BE somebody, whatever it takes. I get it, because quite honestly, I’ve spent a good portion of my time on this earth pursuing that very thing, to be somebody.
Had I only known a little sooner that the secret to my search for significance was found in a diet of catfish, all my problems would have been solved. Or not.
The truth be told, all of us are in that same insecure boat, wanting to be recognized, regarded, appreciated and crowned as a somebody. Some of us mask our insecurities a little better than others, but at the end of the day we still are fighting an uphill battle with an identity crisis. We want to be somebody, and most of us will try just about anything to get there.
Can I tell let you in on something I have discovered? I am already somebody. Not because of what I have attained, or achieved or acquired, or even eaten. I am somebody simply because the God of this universe loves me infinitely, and values me more than I could have ever imagined. And the same goes for you. God has a way of turning all of us nobodies into somebodies, and believe it or not, there’s no catfish required.
So if you’re feeling like a nobody today, just remember that Somebody loves you, and He wants you to know how much of a somebody you already are, in Him. You don’t have to strive to prove yourself, to Him or to anyone else for that matter. You are who you are, not because of what you do, but because of what He has done on your behalf.
So go be somebody, with or without the catfish.
I’m praying for you, as I trust you are for me, and I look forward to seeing each of you this Sunday.