A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of having my family down here from Northern Louisiana. My mom, dad, sister, brother, nephew, and niece all came to visit. It was a wonderful weekend!
My family loves to fish, but we all grew up fishing in freshwater since we lived so far from the ocean. We fish whenever we get the chance, but it is definitely a hobby rather than a definition of who we are. We do, however, love to eat fish.
Since they were coming, and since saltwater fishing isn’t something they get to do that often, I planned for my brother and dad to go out to the beach with me that Saturday morning. It was a beautiful morning, and the water was perfect – clear all the way to the sand. Great for fishing.
We didn’t do much good by the mouth of the river, but when we moved over to the pier, my brother and dad each caught a shark. My brother caught two blacktip sharks and my dad caught a bonnet head. It was exciting, and my brother was tickled. All he wanted was to catch a shark, and he succeeded.
Later, we moved down to the surf while the rest of the family showed up, and we caught several other blacktip sharks just past the break. We were standing in about three feet of water, and the sharks were taking our bait about 20 yards in front of us.
All told, we caught six sharks that day, and my dad even caught a trophy speckled trout.
As people have seen pictures of me standing on the beach with a shark in my hands, there has been no little commotion about sharks being in the same water we were standing/swimming in. People can’t help but hear the “Jaws” theme in their minds as they are told of our shark catching trip.
I must clarify, however. These sharks were all no longer than thirty inches. Notice I said inches, and not feet. They would have had to chew on us a bit before they could have done serious damage.
If you want to talk about statistics, I read somewhere that you have a better chance of getting struck by lightening than being bitten by a shark. I guess the chances go up of both if you’re standing in the ocean with a lightening rod during a storm…
Sometimes our perceptions don’t exactly match up with reality. Yes, there are sharks in the gulf, but will they eat you if you swim there? Probably not.
Often, we live by our perceptions of reality. Some people don’t get near the beach because they saw the movie “Jaws”. Many people live their lives every day thinking that what they are doing is no big deal because of the perceptions taught them by the world around them.
It’s “no big deal” to say “Oh my God!” it’s no big deal to cheat on that test. It’s no big deal to download that song without paying for it. It’s no big deal.
That’s our perception often times, but the reality is that it really IS a big deal.
The bible says in Romans that “The wages of sin is death.” When you do these things you are heaping up the earning, and when you get paid, it’s with death.
The question becomes, who are you listening to for advice on how to live in this world? If you listen to the media and those others who are living for themselves or the world, then you will get a certain perception of how to live, but that perception will be in direct contrast to the standard of living that God holds you to.
Thinking “it’s no big deal” can have dire consequences. What if I saw my son, who is 5, playing with a fully loaded pistol, or walking out into a busy highway? Would I think, oh it’s no big deal? NO! I would jump into action immediately.
I’m afraid that we have been in the world so long, that Christianity looks more and more like the world. We can change that today. The change may take a while for the world to notice and the rest of Christendom to catch on to, but it can begin in your life and mine today.
Today, I challenge you to consider your life. What is it that you think is “no big deal”? Consider what the scripture says, and actively pursue change in your life. When we all do this, the world will be turned upside-down, and God will be glorified.
May you begin the change with me today. May we consider everything relating to our relationship with God to be a big deal, and may we not compartmentalize our lives so that we are consistent and not hypocritical.
God bless you, and if you have any questions or comments about this or any of my articles, please feel free to contact me at jddobbs@Verizon,net or at the office at 245-1611. Read Romans 6, and have a great day in Christ!