I’ve never been much for TV and movies. I guess it’s just too much phoniness and/or drama for my taste. There is, however, one week out of the year that I am pretty much glued to the TV. It takes place every year in August. Yup, that’s right- It’s shark week!
I’ve been fascinated by marine life, sharks in particular, since I was a child. There is so much that happens beneath the waves of our planet that we don’t understand. We’ve learned so much, and yet, barely scratched the surface.
Right about now, you might be thinking that for someone who doesn’t care for drama, there’s quite a lot of it on shark week. Images dance across the screen of large predatory creatures ambushing unsuspecting prey, crunching bone and flesh with blood filling the water. It’s all over in a matter of seconds with the prey being gulped down or left to bleed out while the shark circles and waits for its meal. All in all, pretty dramatic! We also know that Discovery Channel edits the video clips, sound bites, and musical crescendos not for the purpose of science, but to build the drama and keep us watching! They leave out the endless hours of boredom the film makers have to endure to get the dramatic shots. Yup, it’s pretty phony too, but I really like it!
I didn’t realize it last week while I was watching an inordinate amount of TV, but Jesus watches shark week too and He had something to say about it. Our lives on this planet are interwoven one with another. As we watch how the sharks operate in the vast oceans of the world, we can see parallels in our own world. It’s a fish-eat-fish world out there!
To look at the surface of the ocean, it appears to be a vast emptiness. It is anything but! Myriads of fish and sea creatures of all types and sizes live in various pockets of this world. While some are solitary world travelers, most stay in a very small part- a reef system, their own school of same species, a place of comfortable depth and temperature. Many sea creatures spend much of their time either in hiding or out trying to feed when they are least likely to become prey. Somehow, even the tastiest of marine life manages to survive this gauntlet!
So, how is this done? Simply put, there are rules. Fish that school pretty much stick together. Fish that get distracted feeding or mating and get separated from the school get eaten. The purpose of the school is for protection. Sharks will often time come upon schooling fish and swim between them to get them separated from the group. It’s much easier to pick off a lone individual than to try to grab prey from the middle of the group. By swimming in ever tighter circles around their prey, they ensure that the prey will remain separate from the group while sizing up the prey to make sure it is safe for the shark to attack. There is also the ambush attack. The shark is swimming along the bottom, perfectly camouflaged, scanning the area for unsuspecting prey. When it sees something that looks like its normal prey swimming alone, it will swim straight up from the bottom in a burst of speed, bite and disable or kill with ferocity. It is usually the lone straggler or the young and inexperienced that gets attacked.
The same type of thing happens with us. We only see our small part of the world in which we live. It’s so easy for our spiritual senses to become dull to the evil that circles us in the second heaven. We can’t see the demon circling us looking for an opening, so we come to believe that it isn’t there. We live our lives eating, working, mating, playing, trying to make a life for ourselves and our family, but we’ve forgotten the rules and can’t see the enemy circling us, separating us from others with lies and deception. We don’t see the attack coming until it is over and we are left wounded and bleeding wondering why God has abandoned us. God has not abandoned us. We neglected the rules (Bible reading), we drifted away from the Wisdom that would keep us aligned (prayer and fellowship with God), and we get offended at people who could protect us and isolate ourselves. We become dull of hearing and vulnerable to attack.
Many people place themselves beyond rescue and fall into the abyss of evil. No one needs to go there. There is a place of rescue! “All who call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21)! It all goes back to a wooden cross on a lonely hill where the very Son of the living God died in our place so that we might be saved. That’s all there is to it. Period. “ALL who call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved”!