Last week I wrote about crabs. This week, it’s fish.
One of the longest and hardest journeys undertaken by animals is that of the salmon returning to spawn in the same streams where it grew up. These days, that not only demands swimming uphill against the flow of the river, but in some areas it also requires getting past dams. Since scaling a vertical concrete wall is impossible for a salmon, alongside many dams engineers have constructed salmon ladders, a series of pools and small waterfalls which salmon are able swim up and over to get to the river beyond. In some places you can watch the salmon swimming and jumping and you get a sense of the immense energy and commitment it takes to get back home.
As Christians, we are called to a similar struggle. The trajectory of our culture is away from God, and without energy and commitment we will be swept downstream. Going with the flow actually takes no energy at all. Even dead a salmon can be carried a long way by the current. But if we have been made alive in Christ, that cannot be our reaction.
Our call as Christians is to grow in Christ-likeness, in holiness, and in the fruit of the Spirit. All of that takes effort and energy and commitment. We are not just battling against our own sinful nature, and that’s a hard enough struggle. In our day we are also battling against the current of our culture which seeks to drag us away from Jesus.
Making progress is hard, but giving up for a moment means we’ll have further to swim later on. But as we feed on Christ through his Word, as we rest in Christ in prayer, as we stand next to one another in fellowship and witness and service, we will gradually swim upstream and grow more and more in the likeness of Jesus. And that’s where we truly belong.