Each fall I’ve been privileged to witness one of nature’s incredible wonders . . . anadromous sockeye salmon (reds) returning to relinquish their own life to create new life.
After spending 1-2 years in their freshwater birthplace, they journey to the frigid waters of the Bering Sea. It’s believed they navigate by magnetic cues, position of the sun, and day length at while at sea, before returning 2-3 years later to their exact birthplace by imprinting on the unique chemical signatures of the waters . . . creation’s original GPS!
Dodging sea lions, seals, sharks, lampreys at sea, they must contend with bears, eagles and man upon their return. It’s estimated that of the 2,000 to 5,000 each female sockeye lays, only 1 in a thousand survive . . a statistic I briefly ponder each time I catch one . . . but it quickly passes . . . they taste so good! 😊
Sockeye’s prized, savory red fillets are attributable to the high cartenoid pigment of their rich marine diet. By the time they spawn their flesh has turned a tasteless white as the cartenoids are transferred to their skin and eggs upon reaching their spawning grounds.
Watching sockeye salmon complete their aquatic life cycle allegorically always reminds of my own terrestrial life journey . . . each a beginning-to-end journey of survival wrought with trials and transitions.
Like the sockeye my skin has often turned red in embarrassment, and has lost its once youthful glow. Unlike the sockeye, many of my trials have often been self-imposed.
Standing stream-side I’m forever grateful knowing I’m still ’swimming’. Somehow, having navigated through my own and sin’s ‘predators’ for 8 decades . . . I’m 1 in a 1,000 . . . but not by my own making. It’s by God’s unfathomably amazing love, mercy and grace alone that I’m still headed ‘upstream.’
Like the sockeye, my life’s journey will someday end . . . but not in a stream-bed. My end will be the beginning of an eternity above with the One whose sacrificial death defeated mine, and all who have accepted Him as Savior . . . hope we share it together.
Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!