One of my fondest childhood memories is going down to the river to play. We used to spend all day down at that river in Kaneohe. We built stone and algae dams. We experimented with ways to catch fish, swordtails, guppies and all the rest. Fun times. A fun and simple time in life. Just being there, sun shining, hearing the water make its way over and around the rocks, feeling the cool water envelop your feet as you make your way around. Just being there.
Makes me think: Isn’t that a part of abiding in Christ? Just enjoying being there with Him. Just being there.
Thinking about that river, one of the things I loved to do was catch crayfish. Sometimes by net but sometimes by a string and a piece of bread. We would squeeze the bread into a little ball and tie that to a string. Then when we spotted a crayfish, we would slowly dangle the bread and string in front of it. Soon it would come out and grab hold of the bread. Once it started to nibble on it, game over. We would slowly lift the string up out of the water and incredibly, the crayfish hung on to that piece of bread. We would place a net under the crayfish and shake it free. Another crayfish caught! And believe it or not, we tried cooking them up once. It wasn’t shrimp, let me tell you.
How crazy it was for the crayfish to hang on to something it liked, even if it meant being caught. Then it struck me. I’m like that crayfish. Not being willing to let go is often a great hindrance for me in abiding in Christ. How I choose to hang on and preoccupy myself with bread on a string dangled in front of me. How crazy it is for me to hang on to something instead of letting go and abide in Christ. And letting go for me is just as Andrew Murray wrote, “Abiding in Him is not a work that we have to do as the condition for enjoying His salvation, but a consenting to let Him do all for us, and in us, and through us. It is a work He does for us: the fruit and the power of His redeeming love. Our part is simply to yield, to trust, and to wait for what He has engaged to perform.” Yup, it’s remembering my friend the crayfish and letting go.
“Father, help me to let go and fully trust You to do all for me, and in me and through me. Teach me to more fully abide in You.”
3 thoughts on “the lesson of the crayfish”
I love this post Pastor Mark. Did you know that I have a bumper sticker – let go/let God? There are some things I’m working on letting go over and your words are an encouragement to me.
Thanks Vanessa. You are definitely an encouragement to me.
I used to catch crayfish like that, as well as fresh water Opae lolo with a net in upper Manoa valley. I think sometimes we are like the crayfish and we do thing by reflex. We react and do things out of habit. We no think, we just do. Like Karate, you hit me, I hit you. Old habits are hard to break.
I found that good intentions and yearly resolutions didn’t help me and so devised something specific to me. “A PLAN” that I needed to practice every day.