the bottomline

Large Crowd Diversion
Monday, June 19, 2017 by Dan Allen

I looked out the window of my 7th floor beach timeshare and immediately saw a large  crowd of between 75 to 100 gathered around something at shores edge. This brought to a halt any work I was contemplating doing. The crowd was swelling and shrinking at the same times as more onlookers ran to the scene while others slowly departed. Two 4-wheelers with surfboards on top, life-guard-type vehicles, arrived but no medical personnel.

Within ten minutes of my viewing everyone went back to their late-morning blankets under resort navy blue umbrellas, throwing balls, jogging, and a few ventured into the water.

What was it that caused all the commotion? Immediately I eliminated a few things—dead cow (it’s the ocean), downed helicopter (that would be visible), indentation in the sand from an errant North Korean missile launch (their missiles fissile quicker than a M-80 firecracker). More realistic—did the tide bring in a dead body? Was someone having a heart attack or medical situation? These, too, were ruled out since the life-guard-looking vehicles took off without taking any bodies with them and no police, EMTs or CSI agents were visible. The only other thing I could see from this distance, several football fields away and many feet up was what looked like a fishing poll and a fluorescent box, perhaps, a tackle box. Could it be that a fisherman caught an unusual sea creature or, heaven forbid, a shark (tune up the Jaws music).

As I pondered this, my ministerial mind traveled thousands of miles away and several millennia  ago when a Nazarene preacher appeared on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Scriptures reveal that the crowd was pressing against Him, I’m supposing pushing Him to the brink of the water. So, He secured a fishing boat from Peter, who happened to be cleaning his nets nearby, and asked that they push out into the water, whereupon He sat down and began to teach the folks.

Oh how I wish I could have heard Him that day. No way I would have stayed in my room watching from a distance. I’d be right there in front soaking it all in. There’s coming a day when that will happen. Heaven will afford us the opportunity to hear not only the teachings of Jesus but the wisdom of God. What a day that will be.

Back to present-day reality—it’s been less than an hour since that unusually large crowd dissipated. And there is a lone fisherman who takes his rod and reel out into the deep, casts it and then props it up back on the beach. I’m more than a little surprised that he’s allowed to do this while folks are swimming. That wouldn’t be permitted in my beloved Cape May. Still not sure what it was he caught that caused all the commotion. And I don’t really care. I’m on a writing retreat and, although this is writing, it was not on the to-do list for today. That crowd cost me an hour off my agenda. But it did get me to thinking of my Savior and His teachings. That’s a diversion I’ll take any day.


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