Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Little Fish Story

And thus is it, also, with our spiritual life: People walking up and down the beach might have noticed the large fish laying onshore just inches from the water line. From time to time a person would approach the fish and attempt to lift and place it into the water. With each such effort, the fish flipped and flopped and made such a racket that the person could not keep hold of it for more than a second or two. And, with each effort, the fish slowly moved further onto the shore, and further away from the water which provided it life. And so it was this way for many days. People would pass by, with the occassional person making an effort to help the fish back to the water. And in each such instance, the fish would object to the point of sending those considerate persons away.

Then, one day, a man in a long coat and tall hat approached. He carried in his hand a large soup ladle. Walking past the fish, he stooped and placed his ladle at the edge of the water, allowing it to be filled by the water from the ocean. Carefully he would return to the fish, where he would gently spoon the precious liquid over the body of the small animal as if he were basting a roast. When the ladle was empty, he would repeat the process two or three times to assure that the fish was sufficiently moist as to allow for its' survival. Each day the man would return, and each day the fish became more and more aware of the effort and care that was being expended. Days went by, and then weeks. After a period, the man approached the fish directly, without the ladle. The fish was curious, noting this as being different. Slowly, and ever so gently, the man slipped his hands under the fish and, with the skill of an archeologist on an important dig, he extracted the fish from the sand. The fish offered no resistance, as he had come to know that this man meant no harm. Slowly the man moved to the edge of the water and bent over, placing the fish into the liquid. Without looking back, the fish flipped and flopped a time or two and swam out into the deepest part of the ocean. The man smiled, brushed his hands together to clean them of the sand, and was satisfied.

We are all, from time to time, both the fish and the man.

Copyright©2006 jdwarrick    

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