I Don’t Like Fish…Or Do I?


December 2, 2014

“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” – Psalm 34:8 (NIV)


Anyone who knows me for very long knows that I love hamburgers… I jest in fact that I am on a quest to find the perfect cheeseburger. Now… a part of this quest is serious. Part of the creation of the quest was in fact a polite way for me to say “I don’t like fish!”


Only problem is, that what I was really saying was, “I’m very comfortable eating beef and chicken and really have no desire to try anything new – thank you very much!”

But the interesting thing is…. when the situation has forced me to venture out and try fish… I have actually found some that I find quite acceptable.

It’s not beef to be sure… but it isn’t bad (but then what can you really expect from something whose name is used to describe and odd taste in food?).

I guess my point in the above diatribe is that I wonder how often our strong statements of preference or even our candid admissions of dislike are really more about our own comfort and our unwillingness to try something new or different. It’s not really about our dislike, but about our contentment in certain areas of our life. And yet if we venture out… what wonderful things might we discover in God’s great creation? Oh sure, it probably won’t be as comfortable as that which we’ve always known. But then again, it might be more comfortable. We might find something we really, really like far better, bigger and grander than we can think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

Hasn’t happened to me with fish yet…But in other areas of life? Well that’s a different story.

I remember once saying that I was a pure Baptist and wanted nothing to do with liturgical worship. Then, my educational program required me to study liturgy and to experience it… And, quite simply, I was wrong. In fact, I have come to believe that we in the “free” church threw the baby out with the bath water on that one. Especially at this time of the year! To have a worship service that engages all the senses is amazing and when that type of service is centered around God’s love expressed by the sending of God’s own Son, WOW! But to really appreciate this type of worship you have to work at it a bit to learn what the different acts of worship mean and to engage the worship service with more than your mind alone. Oh, I know, some of our modern worship is rediscovering this, but my point is that had we been more open we might not have to rediscover, instead we could simply build on the learnings of the cloud of witnesses that preceded us.

Anyway, my quest for the perfect cheeseburger continues… but now and then… I might try a little fish.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, Thank you for a life that provides me comfort and security. Now and then Lord, when it’s good for me and when I am missing something, trouble me out of my comfortable place and lead me to the New Life that only you can give. Amen.

Reverend Dr. Steve Van Ostran
ABCRM Executive Minister

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