It was one of those perfect early days of summer when the surface of the lake stood like glass – perfectly clear and still. I headed outside to welcome the morning with my mug of mint tea in hand.
As I stepped onto the pier, a hushed stillness seeped into my soul. Sunshine stroked my skin and steamy, fragrant tea warmed my insides. As I looked down, the quiet water mirrored surrounding objects perfectly – the clear hull of the boat, the hurried shadow of a duck flying overhead.
I tiptoed to one corner of the end platform in my bare feet and sat down, cross-legged, to study the peaceful depths before me. There…a small bluegill hunted for his breakfast. And over there…a deserted clam shell awaited discovery by some swimmer.
Out of the corner of my eye I noticed movement in the water on the other side of the pier, and so put down my mug and inched over for a closer look. Something swirled around and around, slowly and deliberately, underneath the surface – almost like a revolving ball of black thread. There were no waves and no undercurrent. What could cause this mass of movement?
As I watched more closely, it became apparent that tiny black specks teemed in unison to the heartbeat of some inborn knowledge. Ah yes, I’d heard my fisherman husband speak of this! These were newly hatched largemouth bass jointly practicing their swimming skills before taking off to explore their individual destinies.
I’d seen many rocky fish nests on the bottom of the lake, and plenty of minnows. But I’d never witnessed a brand new brood of bass. The fragile babies huddled tightly together and pulsed in a figure eight, their little bodies in perfect sync with one another.
All of a sudden I jumped as I recognized an intruder – or so it seemed. A huge largemouth bass hovered near the edge of the black mass swimming slowly in place, treading water. And then I realized the truth: this parent lingered to oversee the welfare of the babies. Later I learned that at an appointed time, the large fish – the father, actually - would dart into the mass and force the young to flee and thus seek their own lives apart from the security of the school.
As I peered over the edge of the pier at this unusual sight, I identified with both the adult fish and the babies. I, too, knew the delight and responsibility of parenting, and the adjustment of an empty nest. I also knew what it was like to have a Father watch over me in various circumstances – a Father who continually pruned, strengthened, and prepared me. A Father who sent me out every day with His blessing into uncharted territory to encounter the unique life only I could live.
You might say, “Well now, it is very poetic to compare your life to that of a bass, but I think there is a huge gap between the life of a child of God empowered by the Holy Spirit and a FISH!” Perhaps that is true. However, that day the pristine sovereignty of God softly touched my heart with a whisper: faith means knowing God intimately, and respecting His sovereign control over all of life on planet earth.