Saturday, July 14, 2007

Two Messages
Category: Life

14 July 2007
Norman, OK 73072, USA

The two items below came to me in e-mail messages in the last few days.  The first, "Going Fishing," reproduced here by permission, is a very different kind of fish story by my student Susan Porter, a writer for the Guthrie News Leader, from the 29 June 2007 issue of the GNL.  I suppose my personal version of it would have slightly different events.  Perhaps I'd have caught a whole school of marlin, but missed the sign that said, "Anyone catching marlin must divest themselves of all income sources."  :^)  

The second, "A Newborn's Conversation with God," is from my student Lauryn, who'll be a mom very soon.  She and her software engineer husband have recently moved to Pennsylvania to take a new job upon leaving the Air Force.  Caution:  if you're a parent, or maybe even if you're not, this one is rated at three or four tissues.






Recently, I had the opportunity to go fishing in the ocean.  I love to fish!  I don't consider myself a skilled fisherman, but from my childhood experiences, Dad taught me how to "feel" the fish on the end of the line--and I've caught my share of fish.   And fishing is exciting because, in the ocean,  you never know what kind of fish you might pull up.  Additionally, the ocean is different than the little ponds I grew up fishing in because the waves pull at your fishing line and sometimes it is hard to feel when the fish is actually taking the bait.


Once on the pier, I cast my line far into the water.   I looked around at the numerous fishermen to either side of me.  Everyone stood silent----looking out toward the ocean---somehow mesmerized by the dancing white waves.


After reeling my line in several times, I finally "felt" the rhythm of the wind and large waves.(The man beside me gently suggested I leave my line in the water long enough for a fish to notice the bait on it).  Minutes later,  I felt something on my line---I tugged hard.  To my surprise---something BIG was on my line.  I tried to reel, but the line continued to slip and the tip of my pole was making a serious bend toward the water.  At this point, several of the fishermen began to congregate around me and I asked for assistance from the man beside me.  After several minutes, my great catch was brought onto the pier---but it was not the "great fish" I had envisioned.  Instead, it was a large stingray, about the size of a small car tire!  I just stood there as a fellow fisherman removed the hook from the mouth of the stingray, and placed it back into the water. 

Isn't life like that sometimes?  Just about the time we think we are doing things according to the rules--or as planned -------something unexpected happens.  There we are---minding our own business------fishing in this great ocean of life------seeking those things that will bring us wealth....success....happiness-----and just about the time we think we have found it-----we have to go through financial loss, failing health, or the breakup of a relationship.


Fortunately, we don't have to deal with "life" alone.  We have a heavenly Father who knows our struggles---even our disappointments.  He understands them all.  And yes, I believe God gives us the desire to keep going--to not give up; to keep putting the fishing line back into the water----However, God may also want us to realize that all those things we may be "fishing" for, are not capable of bringing us the true happiness we think they will. 




"A Newborn's Conversation with God"                    (source uncertain)

A baby asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow,
but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"

God said,"Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in heaven I don't have
to do anything but sing and smile to be happy."

God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you.
And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy."

Again the child asked, " And how am I going to be able to understand
when people talk to me if I don't know the language?"

God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words
you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will
teach you how to speak."

"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"

God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach
you how to pray."

"Who will protect me?"

God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its

"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore."

God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach
you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, "God, if I am to leave
now, please tell me my angel's name."

God said,"You will simply call her 'Mom.'"

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Less and Less, More and More

An engineer is a person who knows more and more about less and less until, in the limit, (s)he finally knows everything about nothing.

A salesperson is one who knows less and less about more and more until finally (s)he knows nothing about everything.

A purchasing agent is a person who, through association with engineers and salespeople, winds up knowing nothing about anything!

--Unknown, but not original with me.  --CLOates