I have nothing against fish.
I understand that fish are a natural part of the food chain. I can appreciate their swimming abilities and their love of school. And while I don’t personally care to eat fish, I’m truly happy for others who enjoy their flavor. So be it.
But here’s the thing: I don’t want a fish to touch me.
Call me crazy, but when I’m swimming in a body of water wherein there are also creatures who, according to Wikipedia, “lack limbs with digits” I get a little antsy. If a fish happens to bump into my leg, for example, I… oh, how should I phrase this?… freak out? Yes, I admit. I freak out. In spastic fashion I flail my limbs and digits. I believe the technical term for the infliction that fish cast upon me is called the “Heebie Jeebies.”
I know this fear is silly. Rationally I tell myself that I’ve never known of anyone to be killed, or even maimed, from bumping into a large mouth bass. But I don’t see the need to take any chances, either.
This presents a problem when I spend a week of family vacation swimming in a large lake. I love to swim, but how am I to cope in such an environment teaming with scary blue gill and their cousins. Cleverly, I have developed the skill of smacking the water (when no one is looking) so as to scare away any creature who may or may not be lurking beneath my toes. I think it works. I came away from my week of vacation with all of my digits attached.
But I did get a slight nibble on my ego.
One particular sunny afternoon I was swimming with my son and husband. My son looked over at me and said, “What if a fish touches me, Mom?” I smiled sweetly and lovingly stated, “Oh, you don’t need to be afraid of fish, sweetie!”
The precious moment was ruined when I looked over at my husband who was rolling his eyes with such force I think he created waves in the lake. Sarcasm and water dripped from his face as he said, “Actions speak louder than words, Mommy!”
Humph! I opened my mouth ready to spew my justified and witty response. Nothing came out. I took a deep breath and tried again. Nothing. Apparently the catfish had my tongue.
Deflated, but still afloat, I thought about the entire scenario. Don’t you just hate it when your spouse is right?
He had me. Hook, line, and sinker. It’s bad enough to know you’re not perfect, but what’s worse is when you see your children inherit one of your weaknesses.
Unfortunately, my fish fear is not the only weakness I’m presenting to six little eyes and ears. I must remember this truth. And more importantly, I must keep my eyes fixed on The Truth.
I’m not perfect, but my Heavenly Father is. As I strive to live as Christ I will set the best possible example for my children. And amazingly, Paul even states in 2 Corinthians 12:9, that God’s “power is made perfect in weakness.” That really takes a lot of pressure off of me!
Sometimes I swim, and sometimes I sink. When I’m struggling to keep my head above water I can trust a God who gently reaches out to me, takes my faults and turns them into a marvelous display of His power.
And that pleases me to the gills!