No doubt inspired by its success, and not to be outdone, the National Geographic Channel introduced “SharkFest” a few years ago. Rather than focusing on sharks for one single week, however, Nat Geo spreads its programming out over a six week period each summer.
Between the two channels and their two approaches, a reasonably attentive viewer can pretty much become an expert on all matters related to sharks.
Not that any of this necessarily matters for my purposes here. I have just been enjoying the shark-based programming, even as I learned from it. Which brings me to my point…
One of the things I came to appreciate down through the years as a teacher was that learning should be fun. The periodic injection of humor into the learning experience always seemed to enhance it.
Of course, what is true for teaching is also true for blogging. And for this reason, I find it appropriate to season my blog posts with a little humor here and there. That being said, I thought I would post a story here today that came to mind as I watched “Shark Week”. It seems that…
A wealthy west Texas rancher had an unmarried daughter. He decided to give a party and invite every eligible bachelor in the county, where had a big barbecue around his swimming pool.
At the appropriate hour he announced that he had filled the pool with man-eating sharks, and that anybody who would swim the length of that pool could have a million dollars, a thousand acres of land, or the hand of his daughter in marriage. They could take their choice.
He had hardly gotten the proposition out of his mouth when there was a splash and he saw a man was literally flying through the water.
He popped out on the bank right at the feet of the rancher and the rancher said to him, “Congratulations! I didn’t believe anybody would take me up on my offer. But you did and now you have a choice: Do you want a million dollars?” He replied, “No, I don’t want that.”
“Do you want a thousand acres of land?” the rancher asked. “No,” replied the man, “I don’t want that.”
“Well, then, you want my daughter’s hand in marriage?” “No,” the man replied, “I don’t want that.”
“Well,” the rancher asked, “what do you want?” The man wiped the water off of his face and hair and said, “I just want to get my hands on the man that shoved me.”
Thankfully, I’ve never personally had to brave a pool full of man-eating sharks. Nor would I want to. However, on many an occasion, I have found myself needing a gentle nudge in order to go forward. And the vast majority of times, whenever this has happened, I have emerged thankful that someone did indeed give me that prod.
The ratings for the National Geographic Channel’s “SharkFest” arguably illustrate that the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” motivated them to either get into the game or get left behind. And my suspicion is that the bean counters at Nat Geo are kind of glad they got that gentle nudge.
Are you currently standing on some precipice overlooking some disconcerting or frightening difficulty before you? If so, do you need a gentle nudge or two in order to proceed? If so, be sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, which are common experiences for believers.
Biblically, a man named Simeon was “moved by the Spirit” to go into the temple where Joseph and Mary were dedicating the baby Jesus to God (Luke 2:27). Later, once grown, Jesus Himself was “led by the Spirit” into the desert to be tempted by the Devil (Luke 4:1). And later still, the Apostle Paul was “compelled by the Spirit” to make a trip to Jerusalem (Acts 20:22).
Let’s face it. It can be somewhat scary to take the proverbial “plunge”. No doubt it was for the individuals in each of these Biblical examples. But it can also be very rewarding! The Biblical story affirms this. As will you, if you follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit in your daily life. Such is the promise of God!
https://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php?id=146507, #51, p.37.
NOTE: The astute shark enthusiast will probably note that my title for today’s blog post, “Go Ahead!”, is actually a play on one of the more famous lines from the movie JAWS, when, just before the shark makes its very first appearance, Chief Brody repeats Captain Quint’s order to his mate Hooper to proceed “Slow Ahead!”