Boy With the Walking Fish

A parable speaks of this boy who amazingly taught a fish how to walk. As the story goes, the little boy was walking across a bridge when he spotted a goldfish swimming in the creek bed below. The boy was overcome with excitement and ran down the bank to meet his new friend.

This meeting between the boy and the fish continued on for several weeks. Eventually, the boy was able to coax the fish out of water. Day after day, the boy kept the fish out of water for longer periods of time until the fish could stay out of water for the whole day. The boy then worked with the fish teaching him how to use his fins to walk. Eventually the fish followed the boy home where enjoyed it so much that he decided to live with the little boy. He did so and they became best friends, playing together day after day.

One day the boy and his fish decide to go for a walk. They make their way down to the bridge and over the creek. When the boy reached the other side he heard a splash, where he turned to find the fish was no longer behind him. The fish had tripped and fell into the creek below. As a the boy looked over the edge, he found the lifeless body of his fish floating down stream. The fish had been out of water so long, he forgot how to swim.

What scares me about this story is that we are called to be holy and set apart. Out natural environment should be in the presence of God. However we get so wrapped up in cultural relevance that we forget what it means to stand in His presence. We continue in sin so much that it reshapes our perceptions on life, agreeing to do things we would never have done in His presence.


  1. Hmmm, I agree with the 'if the salt has lost its saltiness it is good for nothing...' issue, and we are to be holy and set apart, yes , but that has nothing to do with our environment. To those who are pure all things are pure. It is what comes out of us that makes us unclean, our heart. So if we are being conformed to the image of this world, forgetting how to swim, it is because we are weak and need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds and hopefully built up by our brothers in Christ (if we have some available - but we don't always).
    We are not called to sit in our little Christian bubble and never go out into the world of 'sinners', hiding our light under a basket. We are called to get stronger so we can go out and meet people at their need like Jesus did.
    If we stumble because of our environment, it is because we are weak. We should guard our hearts at the points where we are weak - but the point, I think, is to give that area of our life to God and recognize it is our heart that is weak and the source of impurity - not other people's sins.
    And although we should naturally desire fellowship with other believers, I don't think the point is even about coming back to stream to recharge. I think the point is to take the stream with us wherever we go and in whatever we do. To hide God's word in our hearts so we can be fully equiped for every good work.
    'Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him'. John 7:38

  2. First, thanks for reading the blog. Your email address took me by surprise at first glance!

    I don't think I came across the way I intended. First, you know me well enough to know that I am not afraid of "getting my hands dirty" by jumping into a culturally relevant society (read: you know how I was in college). My point was that when we jump in and forget where we came from we lose that part of our identity. For example, our American culture is fast paced and obsessed with narcissistic individuality, keeping up with the Jones, etc. Those behaviors become so ingrained in us that we find a 15 minute "quite time" takes too long or that we become concerned with how we look to other Christians. In my own personal life, I have been so far away from God doing the "parent" thing and the "career" thing and the "marriage" thing that I have forgotten what it was like to swim.

  3. Amen! You are preaching to the choir, being busy with the 'parent', 'marriage' thing (used to have to also juggle the 'career', but not anymore, thank goodness). For me, unless I make it part of my routine I always forget, even though it is the point of all those 'things'. I like to download sermons onto my iphone and listen to them while cleaning or on long drives. Its kind of amazing that I can listen to a sermon every day of the week if I want (not that I do).
    However, if I forget to make a point of it, as I just said, it is not because of my busy life, the culture I'm a part of, or even the actual sins I keep repeating. If I loved Him as much as I should, I would have no problem remembering. My heart would be right and I would rush through everything else just so I could sit at his feet like Mary did.
    That's my sin, isn't it? That I don't love God enough? That is the sin in my heart, that is why my heart isn't right. That's the human condition. The only reason we even come to God at all is because he calls us, and because he loves us first so that we can love him and others.
    Think about it. That's like saying 'I cheated on my spouse because of blah, blah, blah - my spouse didn't do this, my life is like that, all my friends are doing this, I got pulled along and became so caught up I forgot I was married'. All of that is BS isn't it? The long and short of it is an adulterer does not cheat for any reason other than they did not love their spouse enough (or at all really) and that's their real crime - that's where they broke their marriage vow (everything after that is a matter of course). If we are concerned with how we look to other christians, it is because we do not love him enough. If we loved him enough, we would not care.
    The fish's sin is not in the action of going out from the presence of God. It was that it didn't love God enough in its heart to stay.