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Discovery Magazine 3/1/2000

Swim, Shark, Swim

by  Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.

Sharks need to swim to keep alive. This teaches us an important lesson about being a Christian. No, silly, I don’t think Christians should start swimming everywhere they go. But think about this for a moment. Sharks live in a watery world where swimming is, well, really important! Sure, every fish has to swim, but most sharks have to do it all the time. Unlike other fish, they can’t draw water over the gills, so they must keep on swimming. If they stop, the gills cannot get oxygen from the water, and they will die.

Christians have to keep going too. There comes a time in our life, for instance, when we have to move on from simple ideas to more advanced ones. This is what the writer of Hebrews was talking about when he mentioned people who needed to graduate from the “milk” of God’s Word to the “solid food” of God’s word (Hebrew 5:12) Everyone knows that a baby can’t live on milk forever. At some point she needs to start eating grown-up food if she’s ever going to become healthy and strong.

The apostle Paul knew a lot about growing and striving, He told the Christians in Corinth to run the rave of life as if they wanted to win (1 Corinthians 9:24). And while we’re running, Paul said, let’s not get tired of doing good “for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9). Toward the end of his life, Paul was able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). Each Christian should be able to say the same thing. Just as a healthy shark keeps on swimming, so a healthy Christian is one who keeps on learning and obeying God’s Word.

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