Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” I Kings 19: 12 (KJV)
If you were ever going to hear that still small voice of God, a morning like today would be the time—calm, quiet, not a wrinkle in the air or a rustling leaf in the trees. It was the same the other day—even though it was anything but still.
Lynda and I had taken our two Granddaughters to the beach for a few days. At the request of our younger Granddaughter, Ellie Kate, we designated one night as “movie night”, with the selection being “Finding Nemo.” G-rated, I might add.
And after a few minutes into the movie, onto the screen swam Dory—to capture our hearts until the end. Dory, you may remember, is the good-hearted, scatter-brained, lunatic-acting, blue-colored fish who befriended Marlin, the beautiful little orange-and-white clown fish, in his search for his son Nemo—who was trapped in a fisherman’s net and seemingly lost forever. Possessing a metabolic rate—without benefit of caffeine—that would rival a spinning jet engine, Dory persistently leads the way on what seems at times to be a hopeless journey, with uncertain outcome, across vast ocean expanses.
And Dory never lost sight of her vision, adopted from her new friend Marlin, to find Nemo. “Just keep swimming Marlin, just keep swimming”, was the encouragement she repeated over and over, that defined her character, as together she and Marlin pursued their prize.
It only seems to make sense for our lives that any day would be a good day to hear that Godly voice of encouragement. But it seems that—and maybe it’s just me—we could use it today more than ever. I don’t know what you’re going through, but I suspect many of us can identify with whatever it is.
The economy has you wondering when the next paycheck will come, or how long the current one will continue. You can’t buy new school clothes for your children. An illness in a loved-one has shown its ugly head again—right in the midst of discussions in the political arena of suggestions of formulas valuing the productivity of lives, based upon years remaining, to determine whether medical treatment is to be provided. The role models for our young girls and boys are getting harder to find, and instead of choosing none from the celebrities prancing half-dressed across our stages, we accept less for our children by accepting what seems to be the least offensive.
In the pressure cooker of life we find ourselves in today, it seems as though the loudest voices around us are those which seem to be advocating the jettisoning of faith, family, solid values and priorities—the truly important things in life—to try to make it through. When the message we really need to hear is just the opposite—true success, significance and life abundant will only be found in the things of faith, family and solid values and priorities aligned with a faith in God.
A message this world desperately needs to hear—today and every day.
And through it all, as we seek and begin to listen to that “still small voice”, we can continue to find encouragement from the words of Dory when she says “Just keep swimming—Scott—just keep swimming.”
I heard the story this way.
A number of years ago that great Polish pianist and composer, Ignacy Paderewski, was to perform at a great concert in Philadelphia. It was the social highlight of the year, and men and women arrived dressed in their finest tuxedos and evening gowns. It was truly a gala affair. While the audience was arriving and milling down the aisles to their seats in the concert hall, a little boy, unbeknownst to his mother, wiggled free and worked his way down the aisle, past the throngs of excited patrons, and down to the foot of the stage.
The spotlights had been focused on the piano that stood on that stage for the long-awaited concert. The young lad was drawn to that piano, and so he climbed up on that stage, up onto the piano stool and, to the shock of all assembled, began to play his own version of “Chopsticks.” Those present began to murmur and question, “Who is that boy?” “Where are his parents?” “Get him off the stage and away from that piano!”
Off stage, Paderewski had heard the commotion, and he walked out on stage, and walked up behind the little boy, and leaning down over him at the piano, he began to play the most beautiful melody around the tune the boy was playing. And he whispered in that little boy’s ear, “Don’t stop, keep going, don’t quit, I’ll stay right here by your side.”
And that’s what the Master, Jesus Christ, is saying to each one of us as we swim on through each day of our lives and face the uncertainty of the future:
“Don’t stop, keep going, don’t quit, I’ll stay right here by your side.”
And He will.
The quiet of the morning and the still small voice of God…you just never know how He will speak to you. “Just keep swimming _________. Just keep swimming, friends. Just keep swimming. I’ll stay right here by your side.”
And He will. You can count on that.
In His Name—Scott