Two fishes, Sandra and Andrea were great friends like David and Jonathan. They lived in the backwaters near an estuary. One evening, as the sun’s last silver streaks shimmered, Sandra chatted with Andrea. “Rita thinks very smart of herself. She calls me by names. Yesterday, while hunting for food she made fun of my lean appearance and poor skills. How I wished you were with me at that time! You would have given her a proper answer.” Andrea actively listened all that her friend Sandra had to say about Rita. Finally she pacified her with these encouraging words. “Don’t worry dear. Next time, we will make her understand.”
A few days later, Rita once again mocked Sandra and this time Andrea was with her. “Hey Sandy! You have still not learned the art of hunting. When do you intend to grow? Look at me, I am being praised by everyone as the biggest and most beautiful fish here. Look at my fins and scales. I can just knock you down easily.” Swiftly she circulated around Sandra and Andrea.
Meanwhile, Andrea whispered something to Sandra and she asked Rita this question. “Rita, would you accompany Andrea and me to the sea after the monsoon sets in? We are fed up of leading a monotonous life in this lagoon. It is a long time since we met some of our friends in the sea like the star turtle and cross bearing crab.”
“I will gladly come with you. Surely it will give me an opportunity to let your friends know about me – the biggest and beautiful fish ever on earth. How I wish the monsoon sets in soon so that we can undertake this adventure.” Rita replied elated over such an idea.
Then Andrea spoke. “Thanks Rita for accepting our invitation. Like you, we also await the fresh showers of rain. We will meet at the south end of the backwater after the torrents. Bye!” Andrea and Sandra waved while Rita continued to play long after they were gone thinking about that wonderful day when she could introduce herself to others and win their applause.
One fine day, the monsoon showers started and for a week there was heavy downpour. Most of the backwaters breached their banks and got connected with the ocean. Sandra and Andrea got ready to meet Rita. Hardly had they reached the street, there came Rita with all smiles on her face saying, “Come on! Let us go.” The three started together. On their way they had breakfast. “Come on! Near the confluence we must be very careful. River water will enter the ocean like water falls. We must slow our speed to avoid getting hurt.” Andrea cautioned the team.
No sooner had these words been uttered they were found going down like a sliding board and were in the ocean. “It’s more dangerous here. Keep close together with eyes wide open always or else we may lose track” Andrea suggested. Rita kept chattering all the while. Suddenly a big fish about five times more than the size of Rita crossed their path. The water displaced rocked them with fear. Rita never moved until that big fish disappeared from her sight. Andrea and Sandra looked at her. After having many frightful encounters with numerous other big fishes and after meeting their friends Cymbala the star turtle and Cyanora the crab the trio once again reached the confluence almost worn out.
“Now, we must go against currents to reach the backwaters again.” Andrea told. Rita gently replied. “I will go first and you both follow me. Quickly we will reach home.” Sandra kept blinking her eyes for sometime going over what Rita spoke. “She has never been like this before. It’s strange. Her pride has dissolved like ice cubes in a glass of water.” The three reached home safely.
“Will you accept me as your friend?” Rita asked in a pleading tone. Sandra looked at Andrea. Slowly smiles budded on all three faces. They tapped their fins as a symbol of having formed a brand new friendship like that of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Rita waved. “Let me know our next visit. I will join with you.” She cried out to them carrying carts loaded with joy in her heart.
Sandra and Andrea departed in another direction. “How on earth did she drop her pride and become friendly with us?” Sandra asked Andrea with wonder. For which Andrea answered as follows: “Rita thought that she is the biggest and most beautiful fish on earth. But after seeing the mammoth sea creatures her face shrunk. The enthusiasm with which she wanted to boast about her beauty with star turtle and cross bearing crab waned like a deflated balloon. That is exactly when pride fled in shame and humility entered her heart. No doubt she is unique as we are. Together as friends, let us look forward to many more memorable moments.” “Thanks Andrea not only for teaching Rita a lesson but also for making her our friend.” Filled with joy they left looking forward to do something good as a team of three friends.
Pride can stealthily enter your life easily. Ask God to watchcare your life always and remind you not to think highly of yourself than you ought to think. It is easy to feel proud in our comfort zones but when forced into ocean like situations, one may experience the shocking realization as felt by Rita that “big fish in a lagoon” is but a “small fish in the sea” James the disciple of Christ says, “God gives grace to the humble.” Let us pray for God to grant us this grace to see ourselves as we are.
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