I am currently reading the memoir of a family friend, Roy Comrie. Roy is an old style missionary. No pith helmet but crazily courageous adventure. It is hard core… a black mamba snake bite here, picking up a hitchhiker with an AK47 there!
He tells a story that when I read it earlier in the week I knew it was perfect for Thought For The Day.
He and his friend were out fishing on the Kabompo River in Zambia when they caught sight of an Africa fish eagle. It was so majestic that he and his mate put their fishing rods down to just gaze on the wonder.
The Fish Eagle circles and swoops and they see it’s talons open to catch a fish. As he rises again they realise that he has caught a tiger fish, a viscous beast of a fish. As they rise the fish starts flapping with a brute force that catches the eagle by surprise and they land back in the water. The tiger fish takes the eagle under. As all looks lost they reappear on the surface and the eagle who has never let go tries again.
Once again the fish flaps so ferociously that that the eagles loses its balance and they plunge back into the river. This time the fish takes the eagle under to its drowning. Moments later it appears dead on the surface and floats downstream for a crocodile’s lunch.
Roy changed his opinion of this African Fish Eagle. He saw the initial catch as extreme optimism. As the eagles floated dead Roy realised that it was greed. The eagle never let go. He had made a wrong choice. He bit off more than he ever got to chew. He could have let go. His greed would not let him.
Roy asked about his own human greed. His own bad choices. Greedy choices that cause us to be damaged, broken, maybe dead. Are there things even this morning pulling us down to drowning in our own bad greedy choices. Let me be graciously pastoral but is Stormont in limbo because of our communal bad choices and greed. Do we need to let go - to save us all.