th (8)Do you like salmon? I love it and eat it often.  One of my dear friends, Karen, and I are salmon-a-holics and when we meet for lunch we don’t really care where we eat as long as they have salmon on the menu.  It’s not if we’ll have salmon for lunch, it’s how will we have our salmon prepared.

I think another reason I like salmon is because of the references made about salmon swimming up stream.  They don’t naturally go with the flow. They are different and they like it that way.

If you’re a follower of Jesus, you understand a little of what a salmon’s life is like swimming upstream, or at least you should [1 Peter 2:11].  Our country and our culture are no longer Christian, even if we don’t care to admit it.  We, as a nation, seem to tolerate everything except the Christian faith.

We can learn a lot from salmon. One website had this to offer,

Salmon swim upstream because they are born in rivers, but salmon live in the North Atlantic ocean and the Pacific ocean, but salmon, once they have to lay their eggs they return to their birthplace. Since they were born in rivers ,and since rivers flow downstream into oceans, salmon must swim upstream to reach their birthplace in the rivers.”

The only way a salmon gets where he’s going is to make the effort.  It requires action on his part.  If he chose to take it easy instead of making an effort, the current would simply take him back where he came from. The same is true of us in our journey to grow in our relationship with Christ.  It takes effort on our part.  We can’t just sit back and hope it happens.  We have to dedicate time and energy to grow.

When speaking about the need to increase in the things of God, Tom Tanner said,

Unless you are intentionally increasing, you will be unintentionally decreasing.”

No fish swims upstream by accident.  If he is swimming upstream it is intentional and it requires effort on his part. The same is true for you and me.  If we live a life after Christ, a counter-cultural life, then we do so on purpose. While you and I could grow tired and weary from swimming upstream, we can rest in knowing His strength is sufficient; and, if we’ll allow Him, He’ll do in through us [1 John 4:4. Philippians 4:13, 1 Thessalonians 5:24].

Let’s all take a lesson from Finding Nemo and,

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming….