Flying Fish - Salmon leaping at Stainforth Force
This short film is of Stainforth Force on the River Ribble near Settle in North Yorkshire, one of the best places in Britain to see salmon leaping as they make their long journey from the Irish Sea and Ribble Estuary to return upstream on the River Ribble to their birthplace to spawn in late autumn.
A couple of years ago, when I was prayer walking Scotland, I had a rest day in Pitlochry where they have a salmon ladder to help the salmon get back upstream (past the hydro dam) – at the time I was struck by the salmon battling their way back up stream to sporn and made a note in my bible. A couple of weeks ago in the prayer meeting I was reminded of this and shared it – so since then I’ve been looking into salmon a bit more :)
I was initially struck by the incredible battle that it is for the salmon to fight their way back upstream to lay their eggs – their dedication and perseverance to bringing new life (many salmon are so exhausted by the journey that they die after they have sporned!). Only a few salmon manage a second journey.
But then I asked myself why they leave their breeding grounds to go to the sea in the first place? It turns out they go to the sea because that’s where they live, feed and grow strong. They stay feeding in the sea for years and then, at the right time something drives them to return to their own natal river and find their way back to their birthplace to lay their eggs. We don’t really know what it is – it may be some kind of geomagnetic or chemical cue.
What I felt God was wanting to say to some of us through this is that we need to be listening for that cue – that we have been blessed to be a blessing and for us not to stay longer than we should in the sea getting fat. We need to be listening for the call within us to go. And to the promptings that will lead us to the river that we were made to go up – for us to find the right river. And then we need to commit to make our way up that river against the flow of water … to see new life come. There are so many different routes the salmon must navigate their way up (with the many different rivers and tributaries) but something I also found really interesting is that when some salmon make a ‘mistake’ and end up going up the wrong river, or wrong tributary – so that they don’t find their own birthplace/breeding ground – that means a new breeding ground is established.
We are called to be a body – there’s no doubt about that – but within a body there are many different parts and organs and if one part is sick the whole body suffers. In this time we are being pushed into isolation and I feel it is an important time for us to examine our individual faith – to be really listening for ourselves – for that prompting, to find the route/river we’re being called to fight our way up right now. We all need to be listening – every one of us. We can’t just rely on others to hear for us anymore. We all have something to bring and share on a Sunday morning (there shouldn’t be enough time for us all!) and if you don’t bring your part then we will all be lacking.
As I was praying in our breakout room I felt God saying that he bigger than all that is going on in the outside world at the moment – and that he has always been much more interested in what goes on on the inside than on the outside. These next few weeks he has things he wants to be doing in each of us, things he wants to say, people he wants us to connect with (emotionally, virtually, spiritually). Physical barriers don’t affect him at all. I don’t want to underestimate the incredibly difficult impact that lockdown has on so many of us – but I physically felt a sense of excitement about the things that God has planned for each of us over this next month – treasures he has buried for us to find in dark places (Isaiah 45:3).
Corey Voss - Canyons (Official Lyric Video)
This morning's message: Luke 15 - Andy McCulloch
Worship song from service
Cody Carnes, Kari Jobe - Run to the Father (Church Stream)
Credit: Amanda McCulloch