Sometimes I just have to write to feel my fingers dancing on the keyboard. I think it must be this way for all artists. And we are all artists.
I think about the gifts God gives us; the ones we have no idea are swimming just below the surface while we dance and skate across the top of the pond. We fly through the air and forget there are treasures swimming just below the frozen lid.
My husband went ice fishing. Seems like a funny thing to do in Las Vegas… but Utah is not very far away. Utah with its snow-covered mountains and frozen lakes. It seems we are never very far from frozen places.
They drilled a hole through eight inches of ice to get to the liquid wonder where the fish dance a dance all their own. Makes me wonder how many inches of ice God must drill through to get the core of us… and, why do we keep re-freezing? The drilling is hard work.
This got me to thinking about frozen lakes. I have never stepped foot onto a lake so thick in ice you could dance on it. I grew up in the South. One year when I was a kid, the lake we grew up on invited my dad and me for a swim on December 31. I’ve never seen a frozen lake. But, I know the frozen places…
The frozen parts – we all have them. We can step out and slip and slide in all directions not knowing where we may end up. We can skate in one direction and spin around to find ourselves somewhere else entirely. All the while, the thought tickles the back of our minds,
Will the ice break?
Will we fall into the frigid depths and sink to the unknown… a dark, murky nowhere kind of place?
Or is there something more?
One of the guys put on a life jacket while the others held a rope tied to his waist. He carefully tread onto the ice and found a spot to drill with the auger. The ice was thick enough. He called the rest of the crew out and they set up ice fishing shop. Chairs, fishing rods, and whatever else guys use when they go ice fishing…
The funny thing is, my warrior told me that the fish are slower in this murk beneath the frozen roof. They slowly drift to the lines and bump against them. No hurry. No excessive hunger it appears… just icy cruising until one gets curious enough to bite.
I wonder what we would find if we drilled beneath our frozen surfaces – the pieces slowly being drilled away by God. I wonder if the pace would be slower… if the dance would look a little bit different. I wonder if the treasure lies just beneath the surface.
And what about the fishing? We are all fishermen, that is… fishers of men, you know. How slowly and cautiously the fish swim around us when we are, well, frozen.
Who wants to swim to a line when the holder of the life line is chilly and cold? Or, maybe, this holder won’t give a glimpse of what’s underneath the surface.
But, sometimes these frozen places feel just so safe. It’s almost easier to sit frozen and still – easier than holding out a line, or a hand… or a heart.
We cast our lines through the small holes – the ones we’ve allowed God to drill. But, the rest… it’s all a slippery surface. Would knows where the icy patches are safe? Who knows what false move may cause the plunge?
Yea, and when the ice does crack, and we find ourselves submerged – down in the depths with the rest of the fish – we are told the best thing to do is… stay calm.
And maybe if we stay calm in these places where the fish slowly nudge, we may just survive. Rise to the surface where the sun’s light blinds us all.
And here, we can breathe this deep breath of relief. We can see that the icy places are really not the safe places. They are really not the sturdy shield we have so carefully created.
When it all melts enough to bring us to this place where we have to remain calm… or sink… then, we can really become fishermen.
There’s not much that separates us from the fish swimming below the surface. Just a sheet of ice.
Before we know it, the Son melts it all away.
And, in the warmth, the fish begin to bite…
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”