The Fox and the Rainbow Trout

red-fox2The typical Red Fox living in an ordinary forest is a little creature, about the size of a small dog, having white and red, or dark brown fur, and a fluffy tail that is equal in length to their body.  The most significant feature by far is their tail, which can grow to be very long and full of thick beautiful fur, standing out like the feathers of a peacock in bloom.  Mr. Fox lived in a common forest, but he was not the typical fox, for his tail was grander than all others, full of red and white fur and longer that any animal in the forest had ever seen.  He preened his tail daily, so everyone would notice how beautiful it was as he trotted through the forest, waving his tail high in the sky.

There is a stream that winds its way through the forest where Mr. Fox lives, home to many fish and frogs.  One of the fish is an 18 inch long Rainbow Trout.  This species of trout is known for the amazing array of colors on its scales; bright streaks of red, yellow and orange surrounded with black dots from head to tail.  Mr. Rainbow, as he likes to be called, is a beautiful and majestic creature; if you meet him just ask and he will tell you so.

One sunny day Mr. Fox was walking, no more like prancing, through the forest with his tail held high, when he decided to go to the wide spot in the stream, where the water is deep and moves slower.  On a calm day and when the sun is in the right place in the sky, you can see your reflection in the water as good as with any mirror in the finest home.  Mr. Fox frequented that place.  Mr. Rainbow liked that place in the river too, for there he could jump high out of the water, and the other animals in the forest could gaze upon his beauty.

So, as you would expect to happen, both Mr. Fox and Mr. Rainbow arrived at the wide, clear spot in the river at the same time.  Just as Mr. Fox was admiring his brilliant, brightly colored tail, Mr. Rainbow jumped high in the air, rippling the water as he splashed and blurring the beautiful image of his tail.

“Excuse me my dear fish, but your wild splashing is disturbing the calmness of the water.  Do you mind stopping!” asked Mr. Fox in his most deliberate voice.

“My name, whoever you are, is Mr. Rainbow, named as I am sure even you can see for the beauty of my scales.  Surely you can miss a few moments of gazing at yourself to look at real magnificence.  Just look at my beautiful rainbow when I jump into the air.”  Mr. Rainbow was feeling very full of himself today as jumped again, higher than ever.

“Well, well.  How can you even compare a few fishy scales to my splendid fur?  The water must be affecting your vision.  My tail is the envy of all the animals in the forest!”  Mr. Fox was not to be out done.  He would show this fish a thing or two. 

“Then you must not know many animals in the forest!” shouted Mr. Rainbow. (It really wasn’t very loud, but fish don’t have vocal chords so it was the best that he could muster).   Then Mr. Rainbow dove deep, and launched himself far into the afternoon sky, knowing that his splash would shake the water for quite some time.  As it turned out, Mr. Rainbow didn’t know everything that day.  At the peak of his leap, when his scales shined like brightly colored lights on a starless night, a shadow crossed over Mr. Rainbow a moment before the Eagle struck.  The trout was watching the changing expression on the fox and reacted with bitter surprise when the talons hit, grabbing Mr. Rainbow in a crushing vice as he was carried high into the sky.  The water in the river was abnormally calm as Mr. Fox watched the cycle of life, featuring Mr. Rainbow and Mr. Eagle; play out in dramatic reality just a few feet from the shore.  Fear, mixed with a sudden certainty of his vulnerability drenched the fox like a Midwest thunderstorm – so he ran. He ran as fast as he had ever run; jumping over fallen trees and boulders three times his size.  The frightened fox created holes through the brush and thorns where none existed.  Mr. Fox ran until he was home in his earthen den; sweaty, bleeding and dirty. His matted tail waited impatiently as Mr. Fox sat motionless, thinking of today’s events, and the fate of Mr. Rainbow.



Beware of becoming preoccupied with showing yourself to others as amazing, or extraordinary, because if you are, they will know without you telling them; and besides, it is God who knows you the best, and He already thinks that you are exceptionally, wonderfully, one-of-a-kind, perfect! 


Proverbs 16:18

    Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

Psalm 10:4

    In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.

Moving Day

moving-boxes-300x276Last week we helped move our daughter, her husband and their six month old daughter into a new apartment.  The entire move was accomplished in a single day with the help of a rental truck, dozens of boxes, and willing friends and family.  I’m not certain why it is so, but moving-in always seems easier than moving -out.   The new apartment was empty and clean; each appliance was new and shiny, the walls gleamed with fresh paint, and every bathroom tile was buffed to perfection.  By contrast, the old residence appeared cluttered and in need of a thorough cleaning, as is the state of most apartments on move-out day.  Yet at some stage in their mutual existence, the new and old apartments both were filled with furnishings the owner believed they needed, and later, just prior to a new occupancy, the rooms were emptied and cleaned.  Space must be made in the old before the new can be moved in.

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In_GOD_We_TrustAs a normal course of life, we are asked to routinely trust a diverse array of situational commands delivered by people we have never met, or machines we never wanted to.  Yet we accept these often life changing commands as routine because we trust the source.  More precisely, we choose to trust the source.

  •     “In an emergency, the bags will drop from the ceiling above your head.  Simply pull on the chord to start the flow of air.  The bag may not inflate, but (TRUST ME) air will be flowing.”  We are asked in an airplane emergency to trust that lifesaving air is actually in an empty bag.  I’ve never heard anyone ask, “I don’t trust you – prove it.
  •     You are driving your car towards a busy intersection, and the green light is shining in your direction.  Other cars are approaching in a perpendicular path, but they SHOULD have a red light.  You TRUST that the other cars will stop. We TRUST that the light is working properly and the other drivers see the light, know the law, and will obey it.  We bet our lives on that scenario every day.
  •       One more from the airlines.  “In case of an unplanned water landing, use your seat cushion as a water floatation device.”  My seat cushion is barely the size of my seat, and only two inches thick.  I believe it will float in the Pacific Ocean, but I am to TRUST that the cushion will float with me holding on to it.  Really?  Yet here I sit in aisle 4 during a flight back home, TRUSTING that the aircraft, crew, and the Laws of Physics that we will land safely.

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Two Trails

Frenchman_Mountain_trail_6Billy, Eddie and John were like most 14 year old boys: endlessly hungry and dirty in the same moment, exhibiting the attention span equivalent to a sub-atomic particle and in possession of the inquisitive nature of the scientist who discovered it.  They were ‘good boys’, a description often assigned by their mothers in the small Nebraska community where they lived.  When they were bad, they would say so as well.  Today, the three sat in Eddie’s garage throwing a tennis ball Billy had found in his sister’s gym bag.  Billy had a knack for finding things in obvious places. In this game, they threw the ball to one another as quickly as they could, but each had to catch the ball one handed.  Making the other guy’s hand hurt when he caught the tennis ball was always the ultimate goal of the game, but they only kept score by the number of times you missed a ball that should have been caught.  Arguments over whether a ball was catchable were often and loud, a secondary benefit of playing this particular game.  

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Other Places; Other Times

img_9008-old-leather-book-with-brass-clasps-q90-1409x877Gorda entered the Room of Past Knowledge from the south side of the complex, where the morning sun shone the brightest of the day. It was hot, passing 140 degrees as he turned the key to the massive iron and wooden door.  He moved through the threshold of gold, iron and cheesewood, meant to keep evil spirits from entering this room, into a much cooler, very ancient place.  Gorda wasn’t sure if evil spirits existed, or if their reported existence was a way for the old chemist to keep the townspeople afraid and behaved. He did know that evil was real; he had fought against it for decades, so he allowed the use of rare Cheesewood for a door frame. Besides, evil, in spirit or not, could not be allowed into this room. 

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Take The Next Turn

road-trip1The term “Road Trip” immediately injects a vision of excitement and fun into an undertaking that often morphs into a mundane act of getting from here to there.  When driving, we usually focus on where we were or where we are going.  In the morning while driving to work we think about the challenges of today or about the family we left at home.  When driving to Disneyland, we focus on Mickey Mouse and the Matterhorn; we are concerned with the destination (as we should be), the method to get there is generally unimportant.  Although a road trip must have a starting and ending point (often the same place), the reason we get excited is because of the journey; it is the “getting to” part, not the here or there that produces a broad smile, and unleashes our inner world-explorer self.  A road trip is about having fun with where we are at that moment in time, and less concerned about where we have been and where we will be.  Often on a road trip there is not an established timetable, or schedule; you float from place to place absent the worry of being late.  

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The Trail Master

MountainForestPathThe group of thirty people, mostly men, a few women, and one lone boy standing off by himself, shuffled their feet to hold back the morning cold while they gathered at the base of the trail leading up the mountain.  From their vantage point, everything in existence appeared to be up, and in reality, they were right. The mountain ahead was not significantly steep, but the trail was narrow and held many twists and turns, so getting lost was a real danger. The air was crisp, and the beauty of the mountain was stunning; striking rock formations of red and beige surrounded by dark green trees of massive proportions, interrupted by an occasional deep blue twisting line. It should have been a painting; maybe it was.

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The Apple’s Seed

sprouting-seed-1The apple fell to earth as the couple ran from the garden, landing with a small bounce allowing a lone seed to loosen from its fleshy white home and touch the fertile soil.  Now free, the seed burrowed deep into the earth, past topsoil and roots which might compete for life giving nutrients, toward the safety of rock and clay.  Here, in the moist and cold darkness of life’s foundation, the seed waited for the renewal of light into its world.

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The Snake and the Mouse

gruffalo-snake-i1A mouse is a timid little creature, who under almost any circumstance when confronted with a dangerous situation will choose the option of flight over fight.  This is a very logical position, given the non-threatening physical characteristics bestowed on the Mouse: short legs, a round body covered in white hair, a small mouth with smaller teeth, and a roar that closely resembles air slowly leaking from a balloon.  A snake, on the other hand, seems content with fighting first and asking questions later.  In fact, a snake rarely asks questions at all, they just strike.   Also logical, because a snake’s body is designed for stealth, attack, and creating fear in an opponent or prey.  It is not a coincidence then, that many snakes eat mice, so choosing to run, as opposed to joining a snake for dinner, is another good choice for a mouse.  Sometimes though, running is not the first option.

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Stacking Gnomes

Gnomes tend to be odd little creatures by any standard one wishes to measure against.  For instance, their classified name: Gnome.  It starts with a letter that is silent; one doesn’t pronounce the “G” so why even use it?  Odd I would say.  Then their bodies are out of proportion.  Their feet are much too large given their height, or they are too short for their large, flat feet.  Their heads are also large, and are flat on top.  Not just less rounded, but flat, like a rectangular shaped pancake with grey fuzzy hair on top.  Of course they have stubby fingers, big knees, awkward legs and beady eyes, which rounds out the entirely odd package.  But then again, none of us are perfect; are we?  Given all that could be considered less-than-beautiful about a Gnome, they still remain positive in their view of life and the world, a testimate to their ability to see the greater good in almost anything. 

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