You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence. Acts 2:28
Richard actively pursued his favorite hobby; fish watching. He talked with hoards of other fish watchers and they shared tales of beautiful lakes in far away places where he could travel to see rare and beautiful fish. Richard was not a wealthy man, but he would take time off from work and travel to the places suggested by other fish watchers. Though occasionally when he arrived at his destination, the once beautiful lake had dried up and all he saw was the lake bottom with a few fish bones. After several years of following dead ends Richards bank account became as dry as the lake bottoms he had been seeing.
Over the years while Richard had been seeking fish in dead-end places, he had occasionally picked up a book called, “The Fish of Life”. The book was all about a large and unusual aquarium full of rare and beautiful fish that few fish watchers had added to their fish list. The people who had added these fish to their list seemed unusually happy. But, every time he considered going there he had changed his mind. It seemed a safer bet to spend his money and time going where the masses reported success than to follow the few to a little known aquarium. Glamorous reports of rare fish sightings in exotic places captured his attention, and off he would go on another wild fish chase.
Late one night, after years of unsuccessful attempts of adding to his fish list, Richard dug through an old box of fish magazines and books hoping for new ideas. Three-quarters of the way through the box he once again picked up “The Fish of Life”. He flipped through the pages amazed at all the beautiful fish reportedly contained in one large aquarium. He read glowing reviews of the people who had been there. This sounded like a great place to go. He looked at the address and was surprised to see it was located in his home town less than a mile from where he lived. How could he have not gone before? The aquarium advertised that they were open 24 hours a day, they didn’t want anyone who wanted to experience the fish to miss out.
Richard pulled up to the aquarium and walked in the front doors. He was immediately surrounded by thousands of the most beautiful, brightly colored fish he had ever seen. The inside of the building seemed so much bigger than it had looked on the outside. He pulled out his fish list and wrote furiously. After his hand cramped he stood with his nose pressed up against the clear glass window. He looked above him noticed someone feeding the fish. The man motioned for him to come up and join him, then pointed to the entrance. Richard was beside himself, he had come at the right time to help feed the fish! He opened the door and stepped inside the feeding area. The man handed him some fish food and Richard thought life couldn’t get any better. Then the man asked Richard if he would like to swim with the fish so he could see their beautiful colors up close. Richard hesitated, some of the fish were monstrous and scarey looking, he didn’t want to be mistaken for fish food. The man seemed to read the emotions on Richards face and jumped into the water himself. Richard couldn’t help himself, this was a dream come true, he didn’t even bother taking off his shoes, he just jumped right in. The experience was indescribable. The temperature of the water was perfect and the colors of the fish exploded with the bright light of falling stars and shooting rainbows. This was the joyfulness described by the people in “The Fish of Life”. The fulfillment and joy he felt being in the presence of the fish far exceeded his most creative imaginings.
Now to him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. Ephesians 3:20
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psalms 16:11
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Phillipians 4:4