The analogy you’re about to read has taken 3 years for me to articulate… THREE YEARS. It first came to me while leading a Bible study on fear at the Auburn Wesley Foundation during the summer of 2008. Rumor has it that I explained the analogy pretty well the first time I said it. However, later attempts were less than good. Usually, I ended up saying the word fish, then lots of random words, then fish again, and then more random words until everyone was either A) asleep or B) stupefied. But… Praise the Lord… it came to me again about two weeks ago when I was reflecting on my first week of seminary. On top of that, I even discovered the original inspiration for this analogy, which you may find a bit surprising/random… more on that below. Without further ado, the infamous Fish Analogy:
It has been an exciting week for me. I feel as though I am a little fish who has been living in a shallow puddle just barely surviving on a mixture of dirty water and air. This past week has felt like someone picking me up and throwing me back into the lake! I am still at that moment where my body is breaking through the lake’s surface and the water is rushing to engulf me as I prepare to sink down deeper. It is frightening, unsettling, and overwhelming to be suddenly immersed again. It is as though I had forgotten all along that I had gills – that I was made for this very place. But now I have been gently reminded that there is nothing to fear because I was designed to live in this water. It is my home and it is in fact the only place I can find life. Diving into my reading this week, I could already feel the refreshment of being back in these “spiritual waters.” I am ready now to dive in deep.
What could have prompted these thoughts? Could it be an experience way back in my childhood that has left an indelible mark on my soul? Yes, it is just that. What was the experience? Well, I’m glad you asked. Ever heard of a movie called The Abyss? Well, its a sci-fi thriller type movie made way back in 1989. There is a scene in the movie where one of the divers has to use a special liquid breathing device in order to dive deep enough to save the world, or whatever he’s trying to do. Thanks to the wonders of YouTube, I have found the clip… The similarity between my analogy and this clip is uncanny.
Are you ready to dive in deep?