“A soul which does not practice the exercise of prayer is very like
a paralyzed body which, though possessing feet and hands,
makes no use of them.”
St. Alphonsus Liguori
(bait fish minnow became a bigger fish’s snack / Julie Cook / 2021)
“If the soul will analyze the desire it has of happiness,
and the idea of happiness that presents itself to it,
it will find that the object of this idea and of this desire
is only and can only be God.
This is the impression that the soul bears in the depths of its nature;
this is what reason will teach it if it will only reflect a little,
and this is what neither prejudice nor passion can ever entirely efface.”
Fr. Jean Nicholas Grou, p. 4
An Excerpt From
The Spiritual Life
“If all politicians fished instead of spoke publicly,
we would be at peace with the world.”
(Red snapper season 2015 / Julie Cook)
I think we’d all agree that so very much nowadays smells fishy—
as in it actually smells more foul than fishy…
However this little post is not about our current state of affairs…
rather this is about something each of you bloggers might
need to investigate.
You know how we all click “follow” in order to “follow” a blogger…
We’ll click the follow button thinking a particular blogger’s posts will
the show up in our Reader…
And of course that is how it should work.
If you are not a blogger, well, you might be following via email.
Yet, no matter…it now seems as if that ‘follow’ is not exactly a guarantee.
In the past couple of months, blogs I thought I was “following”
oddly disappeared from my reader—meaning they no longer showed up
for me to read.
In turn, I might often think, “well…they must not be posting
anything right now…”
but the reality is that they are busy writing and posting and I was /am,
for reasons beyond my soul, missing out on the latest offerings.
Why is that you ask?
So my only suggestion.
Periodically check to make certain that you are still “following” those who
you think you’re following.
This has happened to me at least three or more times in the past 6 months.
Well, I’m not exactly certain…but odd none the less.
“No one man can terrorize a whole nation unless we are all his accomplices.”
Edward R. Murrow
Though I am lowly and despised,
I do not forget your precepts.
Your righteousness is everlasting
and your law is true.
Trouble and distress have come upon me,
but your commands give me delight.
Your statutes are always righteous;
give me understanding that I may live.
(the lowly sea cucumber, aka the lollyfish / Rosemary Beach / Julie Cook / 2019)
In the pecking order of the sea, I would imagine that a sea cucumber would be pretty much the lowest
of the low.
More slug than fish.
More bottom dweller than swimmer.
Living life on the ocean floor filtering out all the residue from one’s fellow creatures…
Wash up on the beach and you might be mistaken as the excrement from something else.
Not a glamours creature by any means.
We would never consider ourselves to be anything like a sea cucumber.
Lowly and ugly.
A bottom dweller.
But the introduction of sin has made man much lower than that of even a poor sea cucumber.
Pride may cloud the eye of man but sin clouds the sight of man from the eye of God …
“…the hyphenated sins of the human spirit.
They are not something we do, they are something we are, and therein lies both their
subtlety and their power. To be specific, the self-sins are these: self-righteousness, self-pity,
self-confidence, self-sufficiency, self-admiration, self-love and a host of others like them.
They dwell too deep within us and are too much a part of our natures to come to our attention
till the light of God is focused upon them. The grosser manifestations of these sins, egotism,
exhibitionism, self-promotion, are strangely tolerated in Christian leaders even in circles of
impeccable orthodoxy. They are so much in evidence as actually, for many people,
to become identified with the gospel.
I trust it is not a cynical observation to say that they appear these days to be a requisite for
popularity in some sections of the Church visible.
Promoting self under the guise of promoting Christ is currently so common
as to excite little notice.”
A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
Sinfulness masking itself as self-promotion… or even worse…
masking itself as the seemingly self-righteous promoting of Christ when in actuality it is
an act that is merely self-serving…
an act that consists of self-promotion at the expense of Christ himself.
Merely using Christ as a tool for our own sense of selfishness, ego, and pride.
A sinful nature that makes us lowly…
And yet, it is in that lowliness where our hope is to be found and where it rests. …
hope in the lowliness of an open and admited humility…
Only in God is my soul at rest
In Him comes my salvation
He only is my Rock
My strength and my salvation
My stronghold my Savior
I shall not be afraid at all
My stronghold my Savior
I shall not be moved
Only in God is found safety
When the enemy pursues me
Only in God is found glory
When I am found meek and found lowly
My stronghold my Savior
I shall not be afraid at all
My stronghold my Savior
I shall not be moved
Only in God is my soul at rest
In Him comes my salvation
Lyrics by John Michael Talbot based upon Psalm 62
One gets to the heart of the matter by a series of experiences in
the same pattern, but in different colors.
(the red snapper at Bud and Alley’s Seaside Beach, Fl / Julie Cook)
Ok, I admit….this is a picture of a fish with potatoes and not a steak.
as in “meat and potatoes”
I did have a lovely picture of a prime rib roast which I had cooked a while back,
but the fish seemed a bit less red and well, meaty…as I know there are those
out there who just really are opposed to “red” meat….despite my knowing there are
those who will grouse over the whole well, whole fish…meaning head and eyes….
but we digress….
I’ve stated before, I’ve always been a meat and potatoes sort of girl.
Be that meat…fowl, pig, lamb, fish or cow…..
Yet today’s post is not about food…meat or starch…
but is a post that we might just call more of a hearty dose of the
Word of God….being sustenance for the soul verses the food for the stomach.
As in getting down to the heart of the matter….
And now that the dust has somewhat settled…as the snows are now melting…
life is settling back into its normal madness of Christmas….
sans any of the distracting, as well as debilitating, white stuff.
Power is now restored.
Limbs are now cut up and stacked.
Cars have been moved to where they belong….
As schools resume to normal schedules today.
So in the madness since late last week, when the snows did begin to fall,
I was literally pulled away from much of my reading and study as my duties
were needed immediately elsewhere—
And I was particularly pulled away from my reading and focusing on the teachings
of those 3 favorite clerics of mine…
And what a delightful hodge podge of spirituality they are—
A renegade Anglican priest, a reformed Presbyterian minister and a Catholic monk…
And may it be known that whereas each one of these men may seem,
from all outward appearances to be vastly different,
when all the pretense of what the world perceives of them is
peeled away, they along with their messages, are but one in the same.
And I for one delight in that.
In my distraction with the snow and writing about such…there has been so much
that has actually taken place that needs not only my attention but yours as well….
Jerusalem is being recognized by the US, at long last, as the capital of Israel…
much to the chagrin of most of the world as well as by many actually in the US
The Pope, much like our US President, has boldly and perhaps blindly, ventured
to where he may not should have trod, by declaring that the Lords’ Prayer
needs an overhaul….see the perspiration beads forming at my brow….
Sexual harassment continues to prevail in our headlines as it appears to have crept
into the fold….
And my friend who I made mention of the other day…
the one whose family business my family had frequented for the past 25 years or so,
lost her earthly battle early Friday morning.
During the last time we had a chance to chat, which was just a couple of weeks ago,
I noticed that my friend was rather sad and weepy.
I asked what was troubling her….and this 78 year old friend looks me in the eye
and tells me “I miss my momma”—- as I look back at her,
telling her how I understand because I miss mine as well—of which she knew….
So I am uplifted in knowing that both her son and daughter were by her side
when she gave up the earthly ghost and headed on home to be with her mom…
All of this, along with all the other tit for tat that has been happening in what seems
to be my snow encrusted writing absence, will each be addressed in due time…..
But first I wanted to return our focus to Advent.
Because isn’t that what our focus should currently be about?
As in The Coming….
I spent some time this morning listening to the 2nd Sunday in Advent’s homily
offered by Bishop Gavin Ashenden…I was a day late and a dollar short,
but none the less, blessed.
12 delightful minutes of good meat and potatoes for the soul.
The good bishop reminds us that Advent is a time for making space in our hearts,
more space for Jesus.
He tells us that this is the time that we are to be about repentance…
in order to make sacred space available.
Bishop Ashenden focused on the reading of the day which was taken from the Gospel of
St Mark (Mark 1:1-8) in which there is a good description of John the Baptizer…
a man wearing simple garments and who is sustained by eating wild honey and locust.
The good Bishop admits to having always been a bit perplexed as the why
the locust eating would be so important as to be included in the text….
but a Greek friend noted that the true translation in Greek, as only Greeks would understand it to be, was not that of an insect but rather actually a type of flower—
of which seemed to make much more sense.
So we get the complete picture of John…that he was a simple man,
living off and being sustained by the land.
Not the crazy loner off in the desert howling by the moon at night as he
has often been portrayed—perhaps more mad than wise.
And so as we note–John was very simple—
in turn bound by no worldly trappings what so ever ….
John both proclaimed as well as accused those of his day of having
lives way too full—
and that the time had come to make the choice…
The choice being between holding on to that which gets in the way of God or
to choose to move out and get rid of that which gets in the way…
getting rid of that which is separating ourselves from God and God alone.
Very much what we see society and our culture forcing upon us today—
Especially and particularly this time of year!
Our lives, particularly during Christmas, are so chocked full that we are
practically to our breaking point.
We are so full and overwhelmed with all that must be done to
make the “holidays” just so special, magical and wonderful…
on top of already busy lives with school and work….
that we are actually crowding out Jesus.
Crowding Him out from the very time He is to actually be at the center of
Bishop Ashenden notes that John’s message of Metanoia, or that of our total change
and or transformation, is so important because it calls us to a new way of examining
Yet at the same time the good Bishop admonishes us that…dare we say,
there is a spirit of evil actually at work, at this very moment, particularly now…
during this time of year that we are being called…called by God.
It is all so totally opposite of the call of the Holy Spirit.
For there is a force working to counter that call…
countering with the distractions and demands we actually throw upon ourselves
particularly at this time of year.
Shopping, church pageants, visits to Santa, picture taking, card writing and sending,
choir practice, school plays, sporting events, making costumes, wrapping gifts,
sorting, cooking, parties, cleaning, traveling…
all of this on top of the already endless demands of both work and school—
All of this becomes the priority while the true essence of Christ is pushed further
We fight to pretend and convince ourselves otherwise—
we rationalize that we are doing what we are doing because IT IS Christmas…
yet none of it has one single thing to do truly with Christmas—
or Christ Mass…
None of this is to be about lifestyle and clutter but about having the presence
of God at our forefront…as Bishop Ashenden pointedly asks…
“how much time then do you allot for prayer, the reading of scripture,
and loving the Lord?”…especially now during this chaotic time?
I found that I had to really look at what he was saying…
I had to look closely at what gets pushed aside…looking at what is then
actually pushing its way into being the priority….a false priortiy.
The priorities that society makes of us during this season…
Our culture clamors that we are to be all inclusive…and non discriminatory—
but should we not be exclusive and discriminatory over that which is demanding
to be the forefront of our focus—-all of which is not the true essence of Christ
nor of Christ Himself….
Dennis: Come and see the violence inherent in the system.
Help! Help! I’m being repressed!
King Arthur: Bloody peasant!
Dennis: Oh, what a giveaway!
Did you hear that?
Did you hear that, eh?
That’s what I’m on about!
Did you see him repressing me?
You saw him, didn’t you?
(lines from Monty Python and the Holy Grail)
(Monty Python and the Holy Grail / the killer rabbit scene)
Way back in 1975 I can remember going to the theater to see a rather bizarre movie. Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
At the time I was not up on my British comedies and was unfamiliar with Monty Python
let alone their often avant garde and most irreverent humor
As a young girl, I was always more serious than silly so the often blatant silly
comedic humor was lost on me as I found it just too…well, silly.
Having a keen interest in history…
which first started out with a love of history of heritage…
of which took me back to roots found buried deep in the soil of the British
and Irish Isles, coupled with my often vivid imagination…
well, I could envision myself mucking about with a metal detector trying to locate Excalibur, believing Arthur to have been once a living breathing king, I would then
be claiming that mythical sword in the name of some long lost relative.
So when I first watched Monty Python’s take on Arthur and the quest of the Holy Grail..
well I wasn’t sure how I felt about it or what to make of it.
But one thing was certain, I did develop a life long enjoyment from watching
John Cleese in action.
Yet what brought Monty Python to the forefront of thought today was not some fun or
amusing sketch I glanced while perusing the web but rather it came from the latest blog offering by the Scottish Pastor David Robertson.
Perhaps an odd coupling….
His most recent posting is actually an article written for Premiere Christianity
and is written in response to an article about a troubling incident where a church school there in the UK has deemed a Christian organization of being, well, too Christian to be
permitted in a church school.
And so here is where we que the insulting French knight who sadly is not showing up.
As in here is where the overt satire of the likes of Monty Python deviates to reality…
A sort of surrealism that just happens to be real….
In such that one just can’t make this kind of stuff up….
as in it is just so over the top and so so sad and so so troubling and ridiculous
all rolled into one, that one is left standing mouth agape.
A Christian group has been banned from a Church school because a few parents have complained that Christian teaching is extremist. Premier Christianity asked me to write a response – you can get the original here – (some of the comments afterwards from people who profess to be Christian are quite chilling – not least the two professing Christians arguing that to ask for a Christian group to be able to speak at a Christian school is intolerant, discriminatory and against the teaching of Jesus!)
As a retired educator this story certainly had my attention.
Now whereas I spent my career in the often anemic sector of public education that
basks in its secularization and the separation of church and state–
so much so that there are districts who have told their educators that they may not
have a Bible in the classroom but an Islamic prayer rug is ok….
if that makes any sense….
so I understand the raised eyebrows over religious groups coming in
to address the students….
But when an actual church school claims a Christian organization is just too Christian..
well we’ve got bigger troubles then I ever imagined…
3) There is a patronising and dangerous ideology that is being used to teach our children.
Education used to be about teaching children how to think. Now it is about teaching them what to think. And nothing must be allowed to deviate from that. Instead of education our schools are being turned into centres of social engineering where the secular Brave New World is indoctrinated into our children. Our children are being taught that marriage has nothing to do with gender. And now they are being taught Queer theory; that gender either doesn’t exist, or has nothing to do with biology, or is ‘fluid’. Now there’s a really harmful and dangerous ideology!
And the good Pastor goes on to then offer the following points…
(you’ll have to click the link below in order to read the commentary for
each of the points)
4) Those of us who warned that the introduction of Same Sex Marriage would quickly move from being a permissive to being a prohibitive decree have been proven right.
5) The Church only has itself to blame –
Christ wept over Jerusalem.
We must weep at the insanity that is gripping the UK, *[and might I add the US]
of which this incident is only the tip of the iceberg.
Christ’s sternest warning was for those who would harm any of “these little ones”.
Maybe its time for the Church to reflect the priorities of the Christ who said
“let the little children come to me,
and do not forbid them”?
Maybe for the sake of the children we should come out of our own comfort
zones and challenge the new State-imposed fundamentalist doctrines that
cause so much harm. If we are to be accused of extremism,
then let’s make sure that it is the kind of extreme and courageous love
that Jesus showed.
Whatever the cost.
* my little input
So just when we thought the likes of Monty Python to be just a mere comedic group
of both stage and theater, we see that they are actually becoming quite real…
quite real indeed….
You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!…
You are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful,
but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.
Matt. 23:24, 27
“Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught
falsehoods in school.
And the person that dares to tell the truth is called at once a
lunatic and fool”
“Love all, trust a few,
Do wrong to none: be able for thine enemy
Rather in power than use, and keep thy friend
Under thy own life’s key: be cheque’d for silence,
But never tax’d for speech.”
(bad day for a little fish / Rosemary Beach, Fl / Julie Cook / 2017)
I can’t recall exactly where I read it, just the other night…
that we are living in a time when force trumps that of reason.
Meaning that whereas we were once a people of reason and rational thought…
we have now morphed into a people who have decided that force will be the
De Facto rather than De Jure.
Brut force now triumphing over our ability to intellectually reason…
As brut force has become the preferred plat du jour.
And it was reading that little observation that I was hit square between the eyes.
As in…that’s what this has all been about…hasn’t it!?
This madness we’ve been witnessing all these many months…
these protests, demonstrations and attacks against our own countrymen…
It’s all about the loss of reason and the gain of force.
No longer are the masses allowing rational thought to lead us in our governance,
living and thinking but rather they are exhibiting a dangerous proclivity
for the power of sheer brut force…
Brut force in order to yield their desired end result.
For this new growing angry mass has lost all patience for proper procedure,
due process and even free thought as they demonstrate that they have no taste for
the civil, the sequential or the rational…
preferring to use brawn and force against those who they find to be counter
in both thought and belief…
It’s no longer a matter of presentation, persuasion, and civil discourse …
instead it is a matter of beating one senseless, bullying one to yielding
and forcing one into submission…
NSDAP supporters are fighting on the street against KPD supporters, scene from ‘Horst Wessel’, directed by Franz Wenzler, Germany 1933.
The pendulum continues to swing…in a most dangerous direction…
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy,
always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason
for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
1 Peter 3:15
“It is only prudent never to place complete confidence in that
by which we have even once been deceived.”
― René Descartes
(a gull catches a fish that proves a bit too large, prompting the other gulls to come steal his catch/
Santa Rosa Beach, Fl / Julie Cook / 2016)
When I was younger, my mother would always warn, “don’t let your eyes fool you”…
Meaning, as well as being very similar to the notion of not biting off more than you can chew…
that our eyes may deceive us—that just because we see it, doesn’t always mean we need it…
or even particularly want it…
This admonishment would often come when we would visit
a buffet style type of restaurant or reception…
As I would spy all those wonderfully prepared dishes…
just sitting there…simmering, succulent, steaming and savory…
practically begging for me to stop and partake…
The enticing scents wafting toward my hungry nose and eyes, drawing me ever closer…
I would politely ask for a little of this and a little of that…
dish after dish after dish—
with mother knowing all too well that as my plate grew, my stomach would not…
I’d eat maybe half of it and lament that I was suddenly too full to finish…
In turn being shamefully wasteful, as I was overcome by merely hungry eyes,
a hunger of vision verses true hunger and need of body….
In this land of the plenty, we tend to see things a bit skewed..
Always larger than life,
with all things being shiny,
Prompting us to want to quickly snatch things right up…right then and there,
all before anyone else can get their hands on it…
Whatever ‘it’ may be…
Which in turn can often get us into some sort of trouble…
Remember… more often than not…
our eyes, and even our insatiable appetites, are more often then not,
bigger than our needs or wants…
do not be deceived by the hype, the glitz, the beguiling scents and sights…
Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—
his good, pleasing and perfect will.
“Everything I eat has been proved by some doctor or other to be a deadly poison,
and everything I don’t eat has been proved to be indispensable to life…..
But I go marching on.”
George Bernard Shaw
(an image borrowed from the web of a “Walu” fish, otherwise known as escolar–the image says it all)
Firstly I want to thank you all for your the prayerful love extended to both me and my family as we struggled over the weekend, and continue to struggle, with the sudden the death of my father-n-law.
At some point in the near future, I will touch base on this latest detour within Life’s journey…
however today…I thought we could all benefit from a bit of uplifting levity.
I always marvel at God’s impeccable timing…as well as for the depth of His comfort, joy and even laughter when it seems we are at our lowest…and have fallen to the bottom of our despair…
…Of how He works ever so gently, reminding us of His ever constant presence…especially when we feel most overwhelmed and alone.
Sometimes He comes as a gentle breeze cooling the tear streaked cheeks of sorrow…
other times He comes riding in on the wings of comedic diversion….
Today it is upon the wings of comedy I wish to expand as I want to share the tale of a fish… A fish by any other name would taste so sweet….
Saturday had been a very long day.
It was the day following the sudden death of my 92 year old father-n-law. Whereas he was in his ninties, he was still very much alive and quite active…still working and very much a part of our daily lives.
I had been cooking for him on Wednesdays as my husband and I would take him supper and then breakfast every Sunday. He was not one for wearing his dentures, so meals were “soft”–lots of fish and mashed potatoes.
Saturday evening following the visitation at the funeral home and prior to Sunday’s funeral, my husband and I found ourselves exhausted both physically as well as emotionally. Here it was 9 PM as we drove back home when we suddenly realized how hungry we were…as we couldn’t remember when we had actually last eaten.
Thinking by 9PM most restaurant crowds would be tapering off, we headed to the local Longhorn Steak House… only to be met by throngs of girls in softball uniforms waiting outside. It seems a tournament had taken place earlier and now the hungry players had amassed for a healthy dose of protein.
“Go on to Lil Hawaiian” my now disgruntled husband groused.
Lil Hawaiian is a local restaurant run by a Hawaiian chef who specializes in fresh fish with a Polynesian flare. His fish is not the typical fish found so far inland such as trout, catfish or tilapia but rather fresh fish he has flown in often from the west coast.
Tired and very hungry I scan the menu noting that several of my go-to favorites are sold out. My husband sticks to his safe standard of steak and shrimp as I eye something that sounds good asking our server her opinion.. “Oh I love walu, it’s a buttery fish”
My ears perk up.
Being a lover of all things butter, I tell her I’ll take it.
Moments later our food arrives.
I am presented with a lovely piece of white pan sautéed fish topped with a ginger shiitake mushroom sauce paired with jasmine rice and sautéed snow peas.
The first bite was divine.
A wonderful unctuous and satiny fish that practically melted in ones mouth.
I offer my husband a bite, who laments that he now wishes he’d been adventuresome, ordering the same.
As I finish the last bite asking my husband, who is an avid fisherman, if he’s ever heard of walu.
He casually munches on his shrimp and cheekily tells me that it’s probably a trash fish.
Grabbing my phone I decide to google walu.
My eyes suddenly grow wide and my mouth hangs open as I begin to scan the top links for the walu fish…
“World’s most dangerous fish…”
“Don’t eat escolar…”
“Oh I didn’t eat escolar, I ate walu…WHEW”
the rising panic starts to subside…
when the very next line listing the other names offered for the escolar fish….
jumps right at me…W A L U
From food blogs to nutritionists, from fisherman to even TripAdvisor…every link’s top line consisted of one of the following disclaimers…
“to be avoided”
“avoid at all costs the ex-lax fish of Hawaii
“don’t eat the poop fish of Hawaii.”
By now I’ve turned pale while my husband stares at me during mid chew of his steak.
I begin reading aloud…
...The escolar, aka walu fish, is a delightful buttery fish with a dangerous side effect.
It is so bad that the fish has been banned from public consumption in Japan, Italy, Australia with the EU mandating that the fish be packaged with a health warning…
Warning number seven on one such disclaimer especially caught my eye…
7. Pre-Existing Conditions. As always, pregnant women have no fun. Also, people with malabsorption or bowel problems should probably just stay away. Unless you find your bathroom comfortable and you dislike your pants
Anyone who knows me, knows I have suffered with IBS my entire life.
My stomach and I are not friends and I work very very hard to keep it happy.
This is absolutely the last thing I needed…an innocently consumed yet guaranteed trigger for misery….
all during a very important and busy weekend…
What exactly happens to those poor souls who knowingly, or unknowingly such as in my case, consume this so called “butter” fish of which you are now most likely wondering…
well…I don’t wish to be too graphic but I will simply cut and paste to the chase…
“But the buttery fish is actually a kind of snake mackerel, a deep-sea bottom-feeder full of a wax ester that accounts for its dreamy velvety texture. Unfortunately, that oil is not digestible by humans and causes severe gastrointestinal distress in some people. It has earned escolar the nickname “Ex-Lax fish.”
Well, a ‘laxative like effect’ is how my fish monger described it. Others would describe it as closer to diahhrea. An expert would call it ‘keriorrhoea’. Literally translated, it means ‘flow of wax’. Oily orange droplets pouring out your pooper. Keriorrhoea occurs because the wax esters in the flesh of the fish pool up in your intestine.
Symptoms can begin anywhere from 30 minutes to 36 hours following consumption.
With that last little fun fact, my husband quickly asks for the check, as he hasn’t even finished his last bite of food, wondering aloud why in the world would a place with a Hawaiian chef, of all things, knowingly offer such to their customers?????
We race as if our lives depended upon it head home with me wondering if we shouldn’t just detour to the ER so I could get my stomach pumped.
A long story short…
With our Sunday filled with the sorrow of official good-byes, families, friends and an emotionally heavy sadness, I knew the last thing we’d need would be for me to be in some sort of physical distress.
I actually did not feel well throughout much of the night but hoped it was simply nerves generated from the current events.
The following morning, in order to be on the safe side with an added bit of insurance to safely survive the funeral, I downed several Immodium.
By late that evening we gratefully realized we had made it through the rigors of the day.
Following the ceremony, the family gathered back at my father-n-law’s house as the church ladies provided the family with a lovingly cooked meal…but I hadn’t much of an appetite only picking over the food.
By Monday morning I thought that my 36 hour window was coming to a thankful close. I would be home free… escaping the wrath of the walu—-that was…until after a morning cup of coffee…
Oddly and seemingly out of nowhere, there were strange rumblings coming from somewhere deep within our house…alarmingly it dawned on me, those loud rumblings were coming from somewhere deep within my own gut….and they weren’t rumblings of hunger….
Later in the morning, I managed to call my husband, who was by now safely at work and back to a much needed routine…
I wanted to inform him that it was official…
the walu fish had finally made its presence known in my life…and it was not pretty…
The good thing, the thing that I was most grateful for however, was that I made it through the difficulties of the weekend without the added misery of an unhappy digestive tract…as disaster thankfully waited to strike at a more convenient time.
Had I not “researched” the walu fish, I would have thought for certain that the sweet church ladies had given me some ghastly gift of food poisoning with their love offering of a wonderful southern spread.
But with my having been fully educated at the dinner table the night prior, I knew all too well that I was suffering from the revenge of the Walu…
Odd coincidence or bad dinner choices or perhaps God’s delightful way of adding a little levity and a bit of diversion to our otherwise overtly sad detour on the journey of Life….
Now can someone please quickly pass the Immodium…
Here’s a little link for your own research into the effects of the escolar / walu fish…
“In sandy soil, when deep you delve, you reach the springs below; The more you learn, the freer streams of wisdom flow.”
Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
(your’s truly with the luck of the cast / Wedowee, Alabama / Julie Cook / 2015)
Those with skill. . .
Who have spent their years immersed deeply in laborious study and arduous practice, . .
Those who have invested time and energy while honing their patience amongst the coy sirens of empty promises. . .
Are they then more likely to glean the prize before all others. . .
Those with intuition. . .
Those more mystical seekers who are gifted with the intrinsic sense of time and placement. . .
Those who just “know” where and when, how and why.
Those whose vision of the quest comes naturally. . .
Those who just know the hows, the wheres, the whys by the given gift of the 6th sense are they more apt to zero in on prize before all others. . .
Those with luck. . .
Those unsuspecting naive souls who just happen upon the right place at the right time. . .
Those who have invested neither time nor blood nor sweat. . .
Those who merely show up, stepping into the elusive prize without ever realizing the pure dumb luck of it all. . .are they then worthy of the prize. . .
Then suddenly, as if out of the blue, while catching everyone by dumbstruck surprise, enters Hope. . .
Those with Hope. . .
Those with Hope know that regardless of skill, intuition or luck their’s is the one true constant.
Despite the hardships and the emptiness of the those that got away, the better luck next time, the day in and day out of coming up empty handed, the sting of defeat and loss. . .
The Hopeful know that regardless of the negative, theirs is the positive.
The Hopeful do not know defeat.
The Hopeful face every challenge, win or lose
They realize and openly admit that they may lose a battle, perhaps a string of battles. . .
They accept that they may not be the most skilled or the one filled with the depths of intuition. . . yet the Hopeful rest in the knowledge, not of luck nor chance, but rather in the knowledge that the war has long since been won and that they have indeed followed the only true Victor to the one true prize Eternal. . .
For in this hope we were saved.
Now hope that is seen is not hope.
For who hopes for what he sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.