Sunday, October 24, 2010

Something Fishy about that Face

My husband and son-in-love had gone fishing and thanks to my SIL's generosity this 28" Coho was waiting in my kitchen sink to be fileted.

My first thought when I looked down at the fish was .. ."There is definitely something fishy about that face!"

I'm often curious about how expressions get started and so I googled my question regarding why we refer to things we mistrust as 'fishy'.

I found this explanation to be of interest... The meaning of 'there's something fishy' is something of doubtful character or of some shady deal where the motives are suspected. The term 'fishy' is thought to have arisen from the notion "as slippery as a fish" or as an allusion to meat with a "fishy" taste, an indication that the meat is bad. A simpler explanation is that old fish (not good to eat) smells fishy with bad odour caused by a chemical named trimethylamine which is released when fish begins to break down. (from ttp://…)

How naturally we are drawn or repelled by the sensitivity of our noses .
A stench or a sweet smell invoke such opposite responses.

What God has put into our physical world so often has a spiritual lesson.

I wonder how often a Christian invokes the "something's fishy" response from the world that is watching them.

When the world blasphemes God, He places the blame on His children. (Rom 2:24)
Is it because Christians are too often guilty of something in their life giving off a foul smell ?

What 'chemical' released within them would give off a 'fishy' smell ?
Would it not be the chemical called 'sin' ?
When we walk in disobedience, when we indulge our fleshly lusts or pleasures, when we do not walk in the light nor in love one to another .. when we harbour unforgiveness, or selfishness or discontent, we give off a bad odour .

As believers we are gifted to give off a sweet fragrance, the fragrance of Christ in us.
2Co 2:14 "Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. " 2Co 2:14 NKJV

We are admonished in II Cor. 13:5 to "Examine yourselves..." I think that means ...'Do the sniff test!' ... Is there something about you that smells fishy or are you a diffuser of the fragrance of Christ?

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Quote, a Deer, a Flower and Morgan

I read a quote the other day that grabbed me.
It is found in the Talmud, credited to Abba Arika -- he said .. "On the day of reckoning man will have to give an account of every good which his eyes beheld and which he did not enjoy!"

I immediately thought of the verse in I Tim 6:17 ... which says that God "gives us richly all things to enjoy!"
How often do we rush past something 'good' because we are in too big of a hurry to stop and enjoy it. Or so engrossed in our thoughts that we scarcely notice.

Perhaps it is easy to enjoy the detailed beauty of a helenium bloom or take time to capture a photo of coloured leaves against a blue sky or a curious deer peering through the brush.

But what about the 'good' our "eyes behold and we don't stop long enough to see it.
Like Morgan.
I met him when I was waiting in the doctor's office for my husband. I looked up from my book when a mother walked into the office with her 'special' son. His eyes were glazed but when he turned and saw I was looking at him , his face lit up with a smile and he pointed his finger at me and exclaimed "Merry Christmas!"
I smiled and returned the greeting.
He sat down across from me in the chair his mom indicated but his eyes stayed on me, continuing to happily wish me a "Merry Christmas!"
I wished him a Happy New Year, Happy Birthday and several other holidays which he happily repeated but returned to his favorite .. "Merry Christmas!"
I asked him for his name. "Morgan!" was his reply. "Merry Christmas!"
"That's a nice name, Morgan. How old are you?"
He giggled his answer .. "Eight!"
"No, silly!" corrected his mother. "How old are you!"
"Fifteen!" Closer but still not quite right. Sixteen was the right answer.
Conversation was not possible with him .. but communication was.
When he left the office he gave me another happy "Merry Christmas !" and I heard his happy giggle fading into the distance.
But the 'good' of his happy voice and cheerful greeting has stayed with me. It reminds me to look for the good around me and take the time to enjoy it !
We all know the scripture ...

Jas 1:17 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning."
All things 'good' come from God as gifts to us. 'Good' fills our day, crosses our path, speaks to us through the voices of loved ones and strangers. It peeks out from behind the 'trouble' we would happily turn away from. It waits for us to notice on the other side of tears.
Do we watch for the good that surrounds us , look for it?
To not enjoy the good things things God has provided for us , is it not the acting out of selfish unthankfulness?
I know how much I enjoy watching my granddaughters enjoy the things I give them or do for them. Would God's heart not also be blessed to see His children enjoy the things He has so liberally provided ?
If we walk through our day looking for the 'good' to be thankful for and take the time to enjoy it, would our lives have room for petty unhappiness or discontent or aggravation ?
"Merry Christmas, everyone!!" smile

Friday, October 8, 2010

Life Lessons Gleaned from Joffre Lakes Hike

On the week-end my husband Vic and I with our friends drove 4 hours from home to do the Joffre Lakes Hike that Vic considered an easy enough hike for me to manage.
Thinking about the day later, I realized it lent itself to several life analogies.

When we arrived at the trail head, the sky was blue and the day stretched before us, full of promise. We were anticipating a rewarding day of enjoying the beauty of nature.

The trail begins just behind our friend taking a photo.
The trail is hidden in the shadows, just as the events of our lives are hidden in the shadows of the future we cannot see. Would we walk so confidently into the future if we could see what it held?
An easy five minute stroll revealed a stunning view of the first of the three Joffre lakes.

Life is good , isn't it, when we plan, we anticipate, our expectations are met and our desires fulfilled.

As we travel through life there are times we need to rest -- maybe a quick break is enough but at other times we feel so stressed, overwhelmed with worries/concerns , burdened and discouraged that we need some "rehabilitation".
God provides places of rest for us doesn't He? A 'bench' just when we need it!
A place to regain our strength.
Sign "Rehabilitation area - please stay off"
Pro 24:33 A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest.

I stopped to admire the little things along the trail, just as in my life it is often the unexpected moments that give me the most pleasure.

The trail is made easier by the bridges that carry us over the difficult areas.
So also in our lives God carries us over the rough spots to bring us once again to a secure place.
Walking across a bridge that has no railing can be a challenge .... but that is what faith is all about , isn't it ? Walking where you have nothing to hold to but God.

The easy path began to be a little more difficult, and we could not see around the bend just up ahead, but we carefully placed our feet one step at a time on a solid place.

Psa 17:5 "Uphold my steps in Your paths, That my footsteps may not slip."

There were many hikers on the trail that day -- some on their way up like us but some already on their way back down.
After we had been hiking a good hour past the first lake we asked some hikers how much farther to the second lake. "Ohh" they replied, " about 20 minutes." We were surprised we were that close but it sounded good!
We hiked a good half hour and again inquired of a couple how much farther.
They replied , "Oh, about 40 minutes."
We kept going and then some time later asked a third time, "How much farther to the second lake?" The answer came back "Oh a good hour!"
Three opinions ... three contrary pieces of information. Who to believe? Who was right ? We had no way of knowing.
As we travel through life we often hear contrary advice, sincere people offering very different opinions - how do we know which one is right ?

I'm so thankful we have God's Word to give us the solid answers of which is the right way to go - and how to discern between truth and error.
Suddenly the path turned and we passed over a long area where there was no trail. We had to pick our way over and around and between large rocks and boulders that had spilled down the mountainside. The boulders were slippery and I found it hard to climb over them. I have RA and it hurts to place my feet in such a way that twists my ankles. Vic was helping me concerned that I not hurt myself.
We thought we had finished traversing the large boulders but some hikers on their way down informed us that the trail did not get better around the next bend as we expected. Since it was getting later in the day and because the boulders were slippery, making them treacherous for everyone, we decided we would turn back.
No sooner had we turned than Vic lost his footing on the boulder he was standing on and he slipped smashing his hip against the rock and then fell down to the rocks below. His right arm was thrust in between two boulders. I was sure that he was seriously hurt; he fell hard.
He slowly got up .. and everything seemed to be intact and moving.
His hips were very sore and his thumb was badly sliced in half and bleeding profusely.
He managed to limp down the mountain to the car -- then we drove the 40 minutes to the Whister Medical Center where the care was excellent. We spent about three hours there.
He was checked out, given a tetanus shot, his thumb stitched and bandaged and care instructions given .

As I was looking through our photos later I was surprised that neither Vic nor I had any photos of the rough part of the trail where he fell.
As I thought about it... I realized how fitting it was that we did not.
I thought about the fact that we do not have memory of pain.
We can bring up the feelings that accompany memories of grief or sadness or joy or fear, but we cannot relive pain once it is past - only remember that we had it.
Is it not a compassionate God that would create us in such a way that pain cannot be remembered WITH the feeling ?

We were very thankful that God kept Vic from more serious injury, that He provided the care he needed and that even though the day was not the day we had planned it was a day that filled us up with the love of friends and the assurance that no matter what befalls us we have a God that cares for us and goes ahead to provide the things we will have need of.