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I read an interesting story about a group of pelicans in California. If you’ve ever seen pelicans in action, you know they’re great fishermen, or fisher-birds. These pelicans were hanging out near a fleet of fishing boats. The fishermen on the boats would pull into the harbor, and clean the fish right on the spot, throwing the heads and the rest into the water. The pelicans picked up on this, and began eating the leftovers without having to go out fishing. If you’re a pelican, that’s good eating. So for weeks, they just sat by the harbor and waited for the fishing boats to come in.

However, the fishermen found out they could sell the fish waste, so they stopped throwing it into the water. The pelicans were caught unprepared. They continued to sit and wait for the fishing boats to come in and throw free food in the water. And they grew thinner and thinner and seemed able to do nothing about their situation.

Wildlife officials came to check out what was going on, and concluded that the pelicans forgot how to fish. So the officials brought pelicans in from another area to join the flock and teach the starving birds how to fish again.

Sometimes I wonder if we just expect God to throw the fish into the water, and we just jump in, pick up the pieces and we are done. If only it were that easy. But it’s not. God calls each one of us to minister, to perform in a ministry we are called to do.

(From a sermon by Michael Deutsch, "Wearing or Bearing the Cross" 2/16/2009)

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