Hope, Life

Are You Feeling Surrounded?

One of the attorney’s I work for is a weekend diver. Nothing thrills him more than a clear day and some deep water.

Well, I take that back…one of Jeff’s cakes does cause him to stumble a bit…but I am talking about a really good day. The kind of day you anticipate the night before.

I remember when my baby sister, Aimee and I went to North Carolina for the She Speaks Conference last summer. We both had trouble sleeping the night before.

Mine was due to the fact I was busy crossing the “t’s” and dotting the “i’s” on the material we were to have ready….Aimee was busy “thinking”…packing, and most likely cooking for the family she was leaving at home. She left them with “reheating” instructions and a solemn promise of her soon return.

The trip was filled with excitement and incredulity. We were first AMAZED that we made it through Atlanta unscathed. Or, to be more specific…that we didn’t scathe anyone else. Secondly, it was incredible to find ourselves in the same room with the “best” Writers, Speakers and Women’s Leaders in the world! Well, maybe not the world—but at least in the Southeastern United States. How’s that?

However, upon coming back home, life invaded our dream world. Our world of where we could buy that little house or bookstore and turn it into an inviting Tea Room, filled with books, soft music, Jeff’s cakes, cookies and the best hot coffee or cup of tea, and always a friend or a soon to be friend browsing the shelves in search of the next best read.

Yes, life resumed. Actually, I think it picked up pace. As in every one’s life…there are days when we feel surrounded.

Just when you think you are swimming serenely alone, you find yourself suddenly surrounded by a cloud of Baitfish. Just as this picture of the Sea Turtle, he was minding his own business and became enveloped by the Baitfish. The Baitfish are EXACTLY what the name implies. Bait. For bigger fish.

Finding himself encompassed by Baitfish will cause the heart to quicken it’s beating, the diver explained. The “cloud of Baitfish” is so thick, you lose your vision. You lose sight of where you are. It becomes a vertiginous dive. Dizziness overtakes you and you don’t know which end is up.

You know that you must get out of the overwhelming cloud—somehow—because you know what could be coming. A hungry fish. Very hungry. Hungry enough to possibly chomp on a hand—arm—foot—even part of your face.

Isn’t that what sometimes happens in our lives? We are surrounded with feelings of doubt, insecurity, and many times the overwhelming desire to “give-up”—a feeling of hopelessness.

In talking with a young mother months ago, the feeling of a life filled with emotional vertigo was overtaking her. I could clearly see what she needed to do. I could give her immediate instructions which way to paddle her swiftly sinking boat. But she was so surrounded by the Baitfish in her life she couldn’t see or hear me. It wasn’t until the predator fish was about to overtake her did she comprehend the whereabouts of her help.

I lift my eyes to the hills–where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip–
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
Psalm 121:1-4
There are many days when it seems life is running faster than I am. I have to press on—and press in to have my time with the Father–to keep the “things” of this world from crowding out that precious time. My time with Him—keeps everything in proper balance—the baitfish will not loom as a dark cloud when He’s the CENTER of my attention.
What about you?
What are you distracted by this week?
© The Knightly News 2009
Credit for the photo—Diver/Attorney—Thanks R. E. C.! Credit for any big words I use–Attorney/English Professor—Thanks D.J.

7 thoughts on “Are You Feeling Surrounded?”

  1. Now just how did you get in my head to know that I too have dreamed of that little tea room, filled with books, homemade pies and cakes…chintz tablecloths, and china cups!

    Sisters of the heart….yep…that’s what we are!!!

    Love you,

    And, yes, I do know what time it is and my eyes have hardly shut this night…

  2. Angie,
    Great blogpost!

    I think it is so neat that one of the attorneys you work for goes scuba diving! I would love to try that someday, especially in the waters of some tropical reef.

    Great analogy/connection between the Baitfish and the “things” we allow (circumstances, feelings, events) to negatively “eat us up” inside. Indeed, I too, am wise to be alert when such “fish” are surrounding me, tempting me to fall into worrying about their presence rather than focusing on God’s Presence and all-consuming comfort and provision. Thanks for the reminder of Whom to keep my eyes on when the schools of “fish” become swarms around me.

    ~Amy 🙂

  3. Oh that presence is so awesome. Surrounded by the baitfish….He shows the way up and out….
    I am surrounded with the work set before memthis week and last. Tending the hearts of children. Children who now know what it is to be loved. Now to float on the wake today asd catch my breath. Longing even to attend Bible study a buffee seams a baited fish toward over doing it. The idea of attendeing without a dish the suface yet the bait fish of “doing what is expected” taking me into a dizzying spin. Time with him the solve all.
    Pouring out and being filled up. That time walking within the power of His activities has filled my heart and fatigued the body a bit. The body to just sit at His feet and rest a while.
    I have seen so many amazing creations (in the hearts of the kids) that I think it time for a trip to the land . Gotta get my land legs back a while today.

  4. A wonderful, poignant analogy Angie. I can certainly identify with that poor turtle.
    I find, too, that often it is “bait fish” of my own making that keep me from spending time with Him. I allow too many other things to crowd Him out, things that are not of eternal value.
    Oh how we need to be centered in Him.

  5. Great message and analogy! Being a “planner” and a “fixer”, my main distractions are often the do-lists on my desk and in my head. This <>cloud of Baitfish<> tends to overwhelm me at moments as it does most of our sisters. But thanks be to God, I can stop…step back…and accept where my true help comes from and praise Him until the way grows clear…thank you, Jesus!

  6. I’ve been swimming with some baitfish lately! Still and yet, I find strength in Jesus and keep going, knowing that soon the clouds will break, and I’ll be through to the other side.

    Beautiful thoughts Angie and always so encouraging. Hope you are well.


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