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Posts Tagged ‘difficult times’

Bonded With A Whale

A year ago I went through one of the most difficult times in my life.

I had lost my family and my business all within a month. The heartache was numbing.

I decided to go to Mexico and see if I could renew my perspective and outlook on life. To say I arrived in Mexico with a heavy heart is an understatement. I booked a hotel on the Baja choosing one of the less populated areas for tourists.

It was in late February which also happens to be when the grey whales swim down to have their babies.

I decided that I may as well do something other than sit in the sun and feel sorry for myself so I booked a day trip to see the whales.

I was not prepared for what happened.

On arrival at the marina, we were chaperoned into little motor boats. I have seen pictures of people out whale watching and at least they had boats larger than the whales. Not here. Each boat seated 6 people and off we went in search of whales.

We soon saw a couple of water spouts which our guide said were whales. The captain of our boat took off in that direction. Soon there were a number of grey whales swimming close enough to get a look and some pictures.

Our guide alerted us to a huge spot moving closer to the boat. We were a little apprehensive because these whales were at least twice as long as our boat.

To my utter amazement, all of a sudden one surfaced right in front of my face. It had swum under the boat and came up on my side. I thought I was imagining that it took a very good look at me.

Well, let me tell you that was some sight. Everyone was trying to take pictures of her under the water before she swam away. Within a few minutes she was back. Once again surfacing right beside me. Once again, she looked me right in the eye.

The next time I was ready for her. She surfaced in front of my eyes and I reached out to touch her. She stayed on top of the water long enough for me to rub her beautiful barnacle covered, scarred head and snout. She did that twice. Incredible.

Everyone was busy taking pictures while I got soaked. I didn’t care. It was a miraculous feeling. She swam away and the captain steered the boat toward other whales we could see in the distance.

Then the guide yelled again that two were coming close to the boat.

There was my new found friend with her baby. It was unbelievable to see how she nudged her baby toward our boat. She was bringing her baby to meet me!

Before long, I was within 5 feet of the most beautiful baby whale you can imagine. The mother swam just on the other side of her and after I had long enough to absorb what I was seeing, she guided her baby away from the boat and out into the waters.

That was the last we saw of her.

On the bus trip back everyone was cheerfully talking about the experience and my “bonding.” The guide told us that in 18 years of conducting tours to see whales, only once before had they witnessed a whale allowing someone to touch them.

Why did this happen?

I have no explanation why she chose me for the privilege. Maybe the mother whale sensed my sadness. It was a humbling experience.

She helped me to see the light even though I was in a very dark place. To describe it as a religious experience is the best I can do. It brings tears to my eyes when I remember the day I came back from the pit of desperation and bonded with that whale.

I appreciated the obstacles that mother whale had to overcome on her long journey to the place she would have her baby. That magical encounter paved the way for me to put life back into perspective and I came home a much wiser person.

That huge beautiful creature made me understand, that despite the obstacles life puts in your way, there is always an opportunity for a new beginning.

You must never give up.

by: Lynn Perrier

Harbor or Horizon

Once there was a young captain assigned to an old ship. The day the
captain arrived, he could tell that his new ship was in need of some
work and that the morale of the crew was low. And he was not surprised
when he was told that the ship had not left port in a long time.

The hull of the ship was rotting. The deck was stained and some of the
planks were gone. The sails were torn and old, repaired with large
patches. Some of the crew members had jumped ship, looking for another
ship on which to serve, a ship that was going some place, any place.

The very next day, the captain called the crew together. He ordered
the ship to be dry docked so the hull could be scrapped, sanded and
then painted. Over the next weeks and months, the deck was repaired.
The cabins were cleaned and many improvements made. New sails were
sewn and hoisted to the yards. The old ship was coming back to life!

Then the day came when the captain called the crew together. Some of
the old crew members who had jumped ship had returned because they
heard and saw what was happening. And other members were new, bringing
with them great excitement and love for the sea.

The captain said, "It is time that we made plans to leave this
harbor." The crew looked around at each other. The captain, knowing
that some of them were fearful, said, "This ship was not made for the
safety of the harbor… but for the horizon," and he pointed to it.
"But you are the crew. You must decide. Will it be the harbor or the
horizon?"

For what seemed an eternity there was silence. The sounds of wind and
waves were all one could hear. Then, one crew member in a hushed
voice, said, "Horizon!" And another, "Horizon!" And others joined in,
"Horizon!" Until the winds and waves were drowned out with the shouts
of, "HORIZON!"

The captain, so proud of them that he could barely speak, gathered
with members of the crew to plan their first voyage. The excitement
grew until the day arrived that they had planned to haul up anchor and
make way out of the harbor.

The captain gathered the crew in a circle on the bow. He thanked them
for their hard work, their courage and faith. And then he asked them
to bow their heads while he prayed, "Lord of the land and the sea,
what a joyous day this is! A day most of us wondered if would ever
come! But you have given this ship, this crew new life, new hope, and
we praise you. But Lord, you know that we are a little fearful, for we
have not set sail for the horizon for a long time. We fear what awaits
us there. We know there will be high winds and waves, storms and
difficulties. But we also know that you created us for the horizon,
not the harbor, and that, best of all, you will be our Captain,
guiding and protecting us. So, our Captain, we have heard your order
to set sail for the horizon, not knowing all that’s ahead for us, but
knowing all we need to know… that you are with us. Amen."

The ship sailed out of the harbor that day, never to return to rest in
the harbor again. The people on the shore heard all kinds of stories
about the ship… how it sailed the seven seas, came through storms,
and discovered new lands.

Like that ship, our church was meant for a risky adventure. Like the
wise servants, we can rise to the challenge and aim for the horizon.
Or like the unwise servant, we can cower in fear, avoid risk and
change, and stay safely in the harbor. Which will it be for you?

Harbor or Horizon ?

Lessons On Life

There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to
judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to
go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.

The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third
in summer and the youngest son in the fall.

When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to
describe what they had seen.

The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted.

The second son said no, it was covered with green buds and full of
promise.

The third son disagreed; he said it was laden with blossoms that
smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful
thing he had ever seen.

The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and
drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.

The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because
they had each seen but only one season in the tree’s life.

He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one
season, and that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy,
and love that come from that life can only be measured at the end,
when all the seasons are up.

If you give up when it’s winter, you will miss the promise of your
spring, the beauty of your summer, fulfillment of your fall.

Moral lessons:
Don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest.
Don’t judge life by one difficult season. Persevere through the
difficult patches, and better times are sure to come some time later

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD.