This time of year, I love to watch the Thanksgiving holiday film, “Home For the Holidays.” It humorously captures the family dysfunction and stress as its female lead, Claudia, dreads spending time with her parents and siblings.
This dread prompts Claudia’s daughter to offer some calming advice, based on a snorkeling vacation, “Remember the Angelfish… Just float.”
With much emphasis on turkey dinners this holiday, there has not been a lot of attention to other birds. And forget about fish!
Yet, what struck me, as I watched this film, was the connection between fish and birds when it came to possessing a calm spirit in the face of anxious, emotion-filled circumstances, known as family holidays.
“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature. And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
“Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?”
“Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.”
What do these scriptures have in common? The directive given is to not worry about the situations- family included- in our lives.
"Don't be afraid; just believe."
I know; it’s easier said than done. But the reality check of possibility is still there, nonetheless.
It’s reassurance, given to us, over and over again. Let’s take a look at a storm situation, once upon a time…
“And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.
And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us: we perish.’
And he saith unto them, ‘Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?’ Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”
Ah, if only, right? If only that could extend to our relatives, to those special people who seem to have a talent in pushing all kinds of volatile personal upset buttons!
But God has promised to help us…
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
“Storms,” after all, are a subjective thing for us, right?
Therefore, these scriptures mean the equivalent of our film’s famous line, “Just float.”
Need some help floating this holiday season? We all do.
“And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered...”
So, please, as you make your way through these holidays, jam-packed with stressful gatherings and challenging people, call on that important name… and remember the Angelfish. Just float.
Copyright © 2016 by Sheryle Cruse