Fish ladder Window

Fish ladder Window

 

‘There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death.’  (Proverbs 16:25)

A way?  I wondered, ‘what is this particular way?’  Surely there are MANY ways that seem right, if there is only ONE way that truly IS right.

Now I understand.  It is the way of the crowd, the way of peer pressure, the way of group consensus.  The way of ‘everybody’s doing it’.  It just seems right, because that’s the direction of the flow.  Most times it doesn’t even occur to us to question it.  We go along without thinking, without critical examination.  It’s what we’ve been taught is ‘normal’.

But, while all the world is swimming downstream, God made Christians, like salmon, to swim upstream.  As we study God’s Word, our eyes become opened to what is acceptable behavior for us, in God’s eyes, and what isn’t.  As long as we submit ourselves to walk IN THE SPIRIT, we find ourselves having a constant urge to swim against the flow.

But the current is strong.  If we don’t continue in The Spirit, we will find ourselves swimming with the crowd too.  But again and again, the urge to go against the flow will return.  Yet if we don’t FOCUS our attention on that urge within us–that inner leading of the Holy Spirit–we will find ourselves passing the same scenery again and again.  Upstream, downstream.  We just don’t seem to be making any progress.

WE MUST CHOOSE to submit ourselves to God daily.  We must CHOOSE to put His will before our own.  We must CHOOSE to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.  If we do, His Holy Spirit gives us the supernatural strength and motivation to swim against the flow.  And the longer we do it, the stronger and more motivated we become–just like the salmon that find the water purer and more oxygenated the further upstream they go.  Soon they smell the familiar scent of the shoals where they spent their early life: home!

But if we DON’T choose to submit ourselves to God daily . . . if we DON’T choose to put His will before our own, if we DON’T follow His leading, we will simply be carried along with the flow.

There is yet a deeper parallel here: the issue of fish ladders.  Take the case of the Chittenden Locks: here boats are moved between Lake Washington and Puget Sound.  As always, water moves downstream.  However, it is not advantageous for migrating salmon to get caught in the huge locks, because the way they are constructed makes it virtually impossible for them to make their way upstream.  Therefore, a narrow ‘fish ladder’ was constructed on one side of the lock.  (But not every salmon finds it.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiram_M._Chittenden_Locks#Fish_ladder

Understanding the fish ladder brings new understanding to Jesus’ parable:

‘Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’  (Matthew 7:13-14)

Although God made us a ‘fish gate’, a way of salvation, we still must STRIVE to enter in.  We still must be the ones to CHOOSE to swim upstream and make the journey.  God has put everything needful in place for us, and will even turbocharge us to reach our destination, but He’s not going to airlift us there.  What is needful, is for us to choose to TURN and SWIM!

‘Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.’  (Luke 13:24)

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