2016: Page 152

Page 152 has been another relaxing day surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation!  After sleeping in and missing the sunrise once again (I was doing really well to be up for it several days in a row!), we eventually got up and headed to Fort DeSoto County Park on the south end of Saint Petersburg.  The park is in view of the Sunshine Skyway bridge and is situated where Tampa Bay (the body of water, not the city) flows into the Gulf of Mexico.  The park is home to an incredible assortment of wildlife on land, in the air and in the water.  I managed to photograph some osprey, a variety of shore birds, a few dolphin playing and some manatee swimming through the shallow waters.  Two different groups of fishermen in boats were throwing nets out to catch “bait fish”, only to have a dolphin decide trapped fish would make a good snack.  A dolphin had latched onto each of their nets and wouldn’t let go.  As they pulled the net to the surface, the dolphin came with it, tearing the net in the process.  Needless to say, the fishermen weren’t too happy and didn’t have anything nice to say about the dolphins “stealing” their fish and ruining their nets.  In my mind, I was trying to figure out whose fish they really were and if maybe the dolphins should have been the most upset.  🙂

After lunch, we came back to our room and then spent the afternoon at the beach.  The water was warm and a beautiful clear, sparkling blue.  We finished up the day with a walk to get ice cream then I grilled chicken for supper before settling in for the night to go through the pictures of the day.  There are so many photos that I really like so it was difficult to pick one for today’s page, but I settled on one of the sparkling clear water of the Gulf of Mexico.  

As I sat down to write today’s page and thought about the day, I was again reminded of the creativity of God and the incredible beauty He shares with us through creation.  I also thought about the anger of the fishermen who seemed to believe they had more right to the fish than the dolphin did.  Their anger reminded me of Jonah who sat under the shade of a vine one day and then became angry when a worm ate through the vine so that it shriveled up, as did Jonah’s shade.  God instructed Jonah that he should be more concerned about the people of Ninevah than he was about a vine that he neither planted or cared for.  Sometimes we become so accustomed to certain things taking place, or even to great blessings from God, then when those things no longer exist in the same way we are used to, we become angry with God for taking away something that was His to begin with.  I think that is one of the reasons that Jesus tells us to be on our guard against all kinds of greed.  Greed isn’t always about money, or even possessions.  Sometimes it is wanting more notice, more popularity, more credit, honor, or whatever else that isn’t really ours to claim.  We become angry when we don’t get what we want, or even angrier when someone else gets what we wanted.  I’m pretty confident that these fisherman have come up empty before — if not, they may be the only fishermen in history that has always caught what they’re after.  But I’m also fairly confident that, while disappointed, the response to coming up empty wasn’t the same anger as having something else get what they wanted.

I pray that you and I would pay attention to the things that make us angry.  I pray that we would examine our lives for the “all kinds of greed” that Jesus warned us about.  I pray that we would recognize our anger at someone else getting what we wanted as being a form of greed that needs removed from our life.  I pray that we would make the most of every opportunity we have to share with others about the wonderfully creative God that we serve.

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