Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. Philippians 4:9 (The Message)
On a kayak trip into Bishop’s Harbor with my boys, the mullet jumped all around us. Everywhere you turned, the flash of silver erupted from the water like explosions. The splash and slap of the water as they emerged and disappeared echoed rhythmically across the bay. As low as we were in the water, we couldn’t see them as they made their way to the top so each outburst was a surprise. I tried and tried to get a good photo of their leaping dance, but only caught the spray. Finally, I gave up and recorded the image in my mind. It reminded me of a time when I was a newlywed and felt like I had to do everything with my husband. I didn’t have any hobbies that would make me glad for an afternoon at home alone, so when he went fishing with his friend, I tagged along. I didn’t realize that it was mullet fishing, but gamely climbed into the bow of the boat. Those were the days before the net ban so they spread a large net in a circle and then, pulled it close to the boat. I watched with a sick stomach as they sorted out the fish, breaking their necks to make the meat less gamey and threw them into the boat where blood and guts sprayed everywhere. It was not what I expected at all. Then, a mullet, in an effort to escape the net miscalculated and jumped right into the boat in my lap while I screamed and acted all girly. The guys just laughed and yelled at me to break its neck. That was the last time I went mullet fishing. While I enjoyed watching them jump around the kayak, I couldn’t help but worry about what I would do if one landed in my little boat. Bail out into the water most likely. As the ripples generated by the mullet’s dance spread out in a circle, they interrupted one another. It made me think about our lives and how everything we do affects someone else even people we have never met. I was talking with a friend recently about how much trouble there is in our world. She despaired over whether she had it in her power to make this world a better place. I told her my philosophy, which is to impact one person at a time. Don’t try to change a system or to help millions. Look for an opportunity and make a difference in one life. Then when you have done all you can, move on to aid another knowing that the first person you helped will someday impact someone else. We are only given so much time and so many resources while here on this earth. There will continue to be trouble and hardship no matter how much we do. But, one person at a time, we can make a difference and create a harmony as lovely as those mullet on a sunny spring afternoon.