I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly. – John 10:10
When my parents moved from Raleigh, North Carolina, I was almost eleven. Roger, my brother, was fourteen. Neither of us wanted to move, although at times we would tell ourselves about the good things we’d find in Florida. Roger was planning on getting a pet alligator. I wanted a pet monkey. We were going to eat fresh bananas and coconuts and fish all day.
Unfortunately coconuts don’t grow in Tampa, and the bananas are shipped in and still green. We never even saw an alligator or a monkey, but we did do a lot of fishing.
I suspect it was because we were bored that we fished so much. Besides, both Mom and Dad worked, Roger and I didn’t have any friends yet, and ocean fishing was new to us. Also we lived close enough to Tampa Bay to walk down and fish every day after school. Most often we caught channel cat fish or crabs, but once we actually caught a small Hammerhead shark. He was only about two feet, but boy did he put up a good fight. Roger pulled him in, and I helped by yelling and screaming so he would know exactly how to do it right. When we got him on land we were really proud and excited, but there was no one around to show him to. So we took him home and put him in the bathtub. We wanted Mom and Dad to share in the excitement of our catch.
Roger and I were in the back yard when Mom came home so we didn’t know she was there until she yelled. Somehow her excited, “SHARK! There’s a shark in the bathtub,” was different from the excitement Roger and I had intended to share. Mom had to calm down a lot before she could see the humor in our surprise or in her response to it. Then she wanted to get Dad with the same routine.
Roger and I never stayed bored for long as boys. Now I make that a conscious effort. As I look around I see boredom as a major problem. When my children fuss, fight, or get into trouble it’s usually because they’re bored. Boredom, I think, is also a cause of many marriages breaking up. It is also a reason many people drop out of church. We are people who become bored easily. I suspect this is why my favorite Bible verse is John 10:10, a modern translation of which is: “I have come that you might live, and I mean really live.”
In your faith and in your lives keep the excitement, celebrate the shark in your bathtub.
Prayer: You have given us life, O Lord, now lead us to celebrate your gift. Amen.