I would like to share an experience I had with a salmon on October 28, 2000. I was archery hunting whitetail deer. Dark was soon approaching, and my plan was to sit near the edge of a Southern Michigan cornfield in hopes that a fat, corn-fed deer would walk within shooting range.
Running very near the edge of the cornfield was a
small, shallow stream. I had to
wade the stream to get to the cornfield.
Just as I was about to step down into the stream, I
could hear some splashing not far away. I
thought perhaps it must be a muskrat. Upon
seeing ripples, I could see the top part of a big fish slowly swimming my way.
I recognized it to be a salmon of about 30 inches in length.
It was very near the headwaters of the stream, where it would either lay
eggs, or would deposit sperm to fertilize a females eggs.
It would then die
fulfilling its ultimate purpose for being born.
I decided I would crouch down on the bank of the
stream, and try to become a small part of the salmons world for a few brief
moments, until the salmon would swim by me.
I didnt think it would be able to see me, as long as I remained
motionless, because I was in full hunting camouflage.
salmon was directly below me when it spotted me.
It panicked, and water flew everywhere
but within just a few feet the
salmon ran headlong into a pile of tree limbs that blocked its way.
The salmon then leaped onto the gnarly pile of branches, only to get hung
up. It thrashed and crashed
I began thinking: My goodness – this fighting spooked salmon is making so much
noise its going to scare any deer in the area away!
unbelievable resolve the salmon was able to wiggle and slither over the limbs,
but directly ahead was an overhanging embankment that ended up trapping the
fish. The fish battled and
thrashed, trying to back out of its dilemma, but was unable.
from its tiring journey from Lake Michigan . . . the salmon could go no
further. What little strength it
had left to reach the journeys end at the headwaters of the stream, only a
short distance further, it was now used up trying to get away from me.
Sunlight was fading quickly, and I needed to get to
the edge of the cornfield. I waded
the stream, and climbed the bank. The
edge of the cornfield was just a short distance away.
I looked out over the cornfield but saw no deer. Perhaps the salmon had scared them away, I thought.
I looked back at the salmon . . . its lifeless tail out of the water, drooped over a limb. Its battered body was hidden underneath the dirt bank overhang. . . which would be its tombstone. I imagined the dirt tombstone to read:
Underneath this dirt overhang lies the body of a tired, old courageous salmon . . . who died trying to give life to another.
Then a twinge of guilt and perhaps a little
compassion came over me. Why not
pull the poor fish out of its trap by the tail, and give it a chance to swim the
rest of its journey upstream, living its final hours with dignity?
After all, I was the one that caused this poor salmon to end up in the
dilemma it now faced.
Then I quickly rationalized: its going to die very, very soon anyway. Why bother? Besides, you need to stay still or you might scare away any deer coming up behind you.
Then another thought went through my brain: Arent
you glad God takes the time to rescue you from untimely and dangerous
circumstances today . . . even if He knows my time on earth might be done
Oouuuuuuuuuuu how uncompassionate could I be?! I put down my bow and arrow, and stepped back into the stream. I gently grabbed the big fish by the tale, and pulled it to safety. It was so tired it couldnt even try to resist me. It rested until nearly dark, then finally found enough strength to begin swimming once again.
I had saved not only one life . . . but perhaps many more.
When God uses us to reach just one lost soul for Christ . . . we sometimes fail to realize we may be a part in saving thousands and millions.
If you would like to read
Norm's born again testimony, click on the following link:
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