“Be not wise in thine own eyes. Fear the Lord and depart from evil.”
- Proverbs 3:7
Even without watching “Animal Planet,” I know pretty much about stingrays from sharing my ocean with them all these years, like it or not. The thing is, like some people, I know too much about them to be friends. They are evil.
I know that they are born with an eye on each side of their head, but this eye moves across to be with the other eye on its top side so as to better see its prey. Sneaky, huh?
It doesn’t have any bones in its body, only cartilage, so that it can flip flop any way it wants, just like a politician. The deadly barb isn’t on the end of his tail like it should be, but hidden under its tail close to its body like a gun slinger that keeps a hidden pistol in his boot.
I have eaten about every kind of seafood you can eat, but have any of you ever seen “stingrays” on any menu? Someone told me that you could cut out rounds from their fins and fry them and they would taste just like scallops ... not.
I wonder if God was having a bad day when he made stingrays. He had six good ones creating the world, maybe stingrays were why he rested on the seventh.
I think God made stingrays to teach us how to depart from evil, and I learned my lesson well one day. I was wade fishing with a friend at Indianola in Powderhorn Lake right where the channel turns by a shell reef and the trout were biting pretty well.
Two guys in a boat saw how well we were catching and pulled up in their boat and starting fishing almost right by us. We gave them our best teacher looks and they moved over a little, but were still cutting off half of our circle for casting. We fisher-shuffled in our leather tennis shoes we wore, in case of stingrays, a little bit from them just to demonstrate how kind we were, while grumbling all the while about boat invasion.
While stringing a trout, I looked down and saw that we were standing right in front of a nest of rays of all sizes and they were moving toward us. There was no way we could get back on land without wading through them and they began following us.
We switched our frowning teacher faces and gave the guys in the boat gold star looks, and our grumbling turned to pleas for help.
They pretended not to look at us, so we slowly started shuffling toward them out of shear desperation. As we got to their boat, I threw the stringer in and then one leg and my friend, a younger teacher, asked politely if we could board their boat.
They looked at us like we were the Pirates of the Caribbean. They said that they were fishing and not going in yet, and we agreed to just sit there in the back of the boat until they were ready to go back to the marina. They said that they had never had two females (note: not ladies) board the boat before and then we told them about our stingray attack.
They admitted that they were teachers, also, and I had the nerve to ask them what they were doing fishing on a school day. They just said, “sick day” and we laughed together for the first time.
We all know what use them or lose them means this near the end of school.
Dear Lord, each day as we make life’s choices, help us choose the things that will bring us near to you instead of the things that are evil and lead us away from you. Life would really be simple if we would just do that.