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Nov 16, 2017

Dancing or Suffocating?

Sarah Christmyer

Family FishingWe all watched, excited, as the sunfish splashed up from the lake and landed with a thud on the dock. My husband reached out to remove the hook but the fish slipped from his grasp. “Look Mommy, he’s dancing!” And sure enough, the fish did look to be dancing as it dangled and flopped at our feet.

I can relate to that fish. From the outside, I look like I’m dancing. I race through my days; flip from activity to obligation, from crisis to need. Thanks to my smartphone, I’ve mastered multi-tasking. I get more done in a day than my grandmother did in a week. Yet still, there is never enough time. I look like I’m dancing—but in truth I am gasping for air.

What can we learn from the fish? It lurches away from the one who can set it free from the hook and plunge it in life-giving water. We too are hooked; jerked about by the demands of the world, pulled by anxieties and fears, caught up in our own desires.

“Come unto me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden,” says Jesus, “and I will give you rest.”

Make time in your day for Jesus. In the morning, before you set out onto the lake that is your life and start chasing the things that set their hooks in you, put yourself in his hands. Drink deeply from the Word. Set aside even ten minutes to read the Bible and hear him speak into your heart.

Then if you find yourself “out of your element” during the day, step aside for a moment and put yourself back in his hands.

We need the Word like a fish needs water.

This blog post was originally published on The Great Adventure Blog in November 2013.


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  • Sarah, thanks for this post. I really needed to hear this message today. We’ve just returned from seeing my 92 year old father-in-law who didn’t really know who we were this past weekend. And now I’m faced with preparing to teach adult religious education on Sunday as well as lead a Bible study session during the week. I soooo need to take more time for prayer and Scripture reading as prayer rather than do the “prep for Bible study” and not really pray. Thanks for your encouraging materials. I’m glad to see you are studying at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. May God continue to bless you always.

  • I am still navigating through this exciting website for Catholics. The correlation between the dancing fish and everyday lives is so appropriate nowadays. You are so right that in this hurried world 10 minutes to give to the Lord through reading the Bible is so very crucial to our everyday lives. Thank you for reminding me of this most important responsibility.

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