What I Did on my Summer Vacation, Part 1: The Flounder

Swimming with the FishiesIt must have been the second day of snorkeling, since I was having no problems. In any aquatic vacation, my first day of snorkeling always involves a requisite amount of loose mask trouble, failure to engage mouthpiece properly, turning my head too far and submerging the tube, and other creative means of salt-water-snorting. Then I flail about in my unwieldy fins trying to put myself back together until the Coast Guard announces “A minor waterspout has appeared near the shore at … oh, wait, it’s just Jan trying to blow her snorkel clear. Must be her first day.”

But on this particular morning everything was going swimmingly, if you’ll pardon the pun. I had cruised the length of the reef and back, admiring various fish that resembled everything from stain-glass windows or aquatic zebras to holograms or slices of lemon peel. Back near the shore, though, I saw nothing but boring sand and crusty-looking rocks.

Suddenly, a nine-inch flake of crust detached itself from a rock and moved a few feet toward my right. Startled, but not badly enough to make me snort any more salt water, I followed the movement. The beige flake settled into a new spot on the ocean floor and practically disappeared. Even its two eyes, both on the same side of its head, looked like the tiny plants that grew on the bottom. Once it stopped moving, I would never have seen it if I hadn’t already been watching.

Between the crusty upper surface and the wacky, misplaced eyes, the flounder is one ugly creature. It doesn’t even look like a fish. And yet, its very distortion aids in its camouflage and so helps it survive.

That got me to thinking… what about me; how hard do I try to blend in? Do I cloak my opinions behind passivity? Do I ignore bullying or unjust behavior rather than risk doing something to stop it? Sometimes, yes. Whenever I do, I distort and hide my true shape so the people I disagree with, the bullies, “sharks” or whatever, won’t notice me.

Okay; flounders look that way by design. But people are not meant to live in camouflage, unless they are playing paintball or hunting deer or are in the Army. As near as I can figure, God means for us to embrace our individuality, stand for what is right, and put to use the gifts that he has given us. If we try to camouflage ourselves by trying to please everyone, we will never have an impact on our society. In fact, we’ll just end up floundering around.

Thanks for reading,
Jan
PS: Today I am linking up with Jen and my Soli Deo Gloria friends at Finding Heaven.

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6 Responses to What I Did on my Summer Vacation, Part 1: The Flounder

  1. Jen says:

    Oh! This is so good. I love how you can take a real-life story and totally turn it into a spiritual journey. So good to see you at SDG this week, Jan.

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  2. Mary Van Korlaar says:

    LOVED this, Jan. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you’ve got a way with words, my friend.

    Like

  3. Great story, Jan. It reminds me of what I learned at the MOPS Convention this past weekend. We are to be BOLD with the gifts that He has given us. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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  4. Jan says:

    Thanks for the encouraging comment, Heather. And your post still has me smiling… thinking of Christ watching us “with a permanent grin on His face as we run and play, free from all the cares of this world.”

    Like

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