Table Fare in Paradise
by Ken Kocon
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One day the Lord woke up early and decided it was a good day to go fishing.
He packed up his gear and headed out from heaven down to his favorite water hole, earth.
The Lord was in search of some fine souls for a meal he was to prepare in heaven called the banquet of Eternal life.
As he arrived at earth he began to frequent all his usual spots, Churches, Synagogues, Temples, however on this particular day the pickings were slim. You see it was not Sunday. It seemed quite unusual to God, that with all he has promised and all he has given, he finds his places of worship bare and empty on non holy days.
Fishing today was going to be a little tougher than expected. It was time to move on over to the local charitable functions and see if God could get any keepers there.
When the Lord goes fishing, he is looking for keepers.
A keeper is a person who is willing to do the Lord’s will no matter what, a person who follows God where he commands them no matter where it takes them. They will leave their comfort zone and do “God’s work”, where ever it needs to be done. Their faith is strong and true, and they know God has their sanctity in mind in anything he commands. They trust in the Lord to guide them with all their heart and all their soul.
God finally came upon a function and caught a young black man. He was a former meth user and had been thru hard times. The young man had lost everything to drug abuse, his wife, his daughter, his job and his home. He had gone thru the whole legal, and rehab cycle.
He currently worked in a sober house for addicts trying to help others return to mainstream society. He was now trying to give back what he had learned, from what he had been so blessed to overcome.
Like any good fisherman the Lord knew of active fish in the area, but unfortunately the area had not produced too many keepers. Most of the fish caught were throw backs. They would walk the path of righteousness for a short time and then relapse into the sinful ways of the past.
The Lord is kind, merciful and forgiving and will always cast in a line at this hole, sometimes even catching the same fish multiple times. Throwing it back with hope and love gives the fish time to mature and grow in the ways of the Spirit. Eventually someday with the proper nurturing, the fish will make fine table fare for the Feast in Paradise.
The young man had been caught many times before, each time at a different fishing hole. Early in his life he had been caught with his parents at church. A young lad before adolescence, still innocent of the ways of sin, contempt and distrust, this man had a lot left to give the world, so the Lord threw him back.
As the man got older and married, he once again was caught at a different place of worship that he and his new family had settled upon.
Life was good and the path easy. The road was smooth, and the view clear.
However, the Lord was traveling around the pond when the mans life took a turn. He wiggled out of the Lord’s fish basket and landed into the black pond on the other side of the road. This pond is full of rotting carcasses, death, and destruction and reeks a foul smell. Fish in this pond just wash ashore and rot. They are not meant for table fare.
Unfortunately for many a fish in this pond, they swim around like there is nothing wrong. They have not seen the other pond of salvation, or have resided in the filth so long, they didn’t have the slightest clue there was anything better.
Years of apathy or ignorance have dulled the spirit in them, and they no longer believe.
Well this man had seen the clear blue sea on the other side of the road and he wanted out of this pond. Though he had but himself in this predicament, he continued to pray to the Lord to give him strength. “Lord I have not forgotten you, I have stumbled. Give me strength to help myself and leave this wretched pond. I have seen the cool rich blue waters of salvation. I wish to be in the sea of life.”
The man continued to pray and one day he got up the strength to check himself into rehab. Not because the County, his parents, or his wrecked family made him do it, but because HE WANTED to do what was right in the eyes of the Lord.
That fish circled the pond at full speed, jumped into the air bounced off the road, slid thru the dirt down the bank and rolled in the dust. Just when it looked like they goal had been reached, he got stuck, one foot away from the pond of salvation.
Well nobody said it was going to be easy. The young man sat in court and watched them take away his children. He got fired, the bank then repossessed his house, and his wife divorced him. Everything he had was now taken from him and here he was stuck on his journey, half way there.
This is the crossroads ever man must face in his life. Do I press forward and trust in God, where ever that will take me? Or do I feel sorry for my self and say poor me? I can go back to my old user friends and they will say poor baby, here have some drugs. It’s OK with everything you’ve been through.
You know the man thought. It is not OK. I will not let the Lord down. I will pray and let the Lord guide my life. My life is forward, not behind. I cannot change the past and I have asked for forgiveness. The Lord has forgiven me, now I must FORGIVE MYSELF and move forward.
So that fish sat there on the edge of the bank. He continued to pray for his salvation and a chance to swim in the clear blue pool of life again. Flies began to circle and the fish began to dry up. The future looked bleak, but at least he would have made the right choices in trying to change his life. He cried one last time as he felt his last breaths begin to slip away. “Your will be done my Lord. I love you and I trust you. Your will be done my Lord.”
No sooner had he completed the sentence when another fish had flopped out of the stagnant pool on the wrong side of the road. It slid down the bank into our fish and knocked our fish into the water.
“I am saved cried the man! I will never forget you my Lord! You are my salvation; all comes to you and thru you. May I spend the rest of my life doing works of your will my Lord.”
The young black man never did forgot that day and the hand that God played in his life. He continued on to the path of faith and righteousness thru helping people.
He died today.
The Lord pulled him into the fishing boat and gave the fish one look saying. I remember catching you before. You have developed into a fine soul, worthy of my table in paradise.
I will keep you and hold you close to my bosom. All the pain and agony you have every felt in you lifetime will be forgotten. You will dine with me forever….
by Ken Kocon
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It is very difficult for me personally to critique any article and not mention the content: reluctantly, I digress. There are several misspells that are words (so the spell checker will not catch them), but they are not the right words. i.e. "reposed" is a word but the word should be "repossessed". There are others like this. "Permeate" here is a malapropism; that is, a word that seems as if it should be the correct one, but the definition of it shows that it is not. (a minor glitch). The only remark I sense a need to comment on is that I would change some how, some way that the Lord was distant from His people. "I will never leave you or forsake you" sums that up better than I ever could.