Jellyfish Can't Swim

Sometimes the best lessons come from children’s books because simple truths are often the most profound. This blog post comes from:

Jellyfish Can’t Swim & Other Secrets from the Animal World.
Marjorie Hodgson Parker, Chariot Books, 1991.

Did you know that a jellyfish can’t swim? It just floats along in the sea, catching food in the long thread-like “legs” that trail behind it. Since it can only float, the jellyfish has to go wherever the current takes it. And sometimes the current takes it where it doesn’t want to go!

When a jellyfish gets washed up on the sand, it becomes totally helpless. Since it can’t move to get back into the water, the jellyfish just dries up and dies there on the beach.

We can learn a lesson from the “wishy-washy” jellyfish. Sometimes Christians “float” along with the crowd and do what others are doing, just because that’s the easy thing to do. The Bible tells us not to go along with others just because “everybody’s doing it.” We need to do what the Bible says is right, even if it means swimming against the tide.

If you go God’s way, you won’t end up washed up, dried up, and out of luck. God’s way is best, even if you have to go it alone.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how his ways will really satisfy you. Romans 12:2 TLB

A jellyfish just floats along,
Till it’s washed up on the sand.
If you will “swim” and go God’s way,
You’ll like the place you land!

Ask God to help you go His way, even when others don’t.

This book is currently out of print but here is a link to Marjorie’s website.

I share this story because this is one reason why I memorize Scripture. Without it, I’m a jellyfish floating along with the current. Can you relate?

5 comments to Jellyfish Can’t Swim

  • Vickie

    This is so good Janet. So amazing how The Lord Jesus uses nature and the “simple” to teach profound truths. I learn from my little Sunday School kids each week. I see how we must look to the Savior, having so much to learn and yet we are so unconditionally loved and precious. He gave us such a precious gift in scripture. His will communicated to us in our own language. Through the practice of memorization, He teaches how to prevent just “floating along with the current.” An additional blessing this morning, I read your post, then opened Jim Dennison’s cultural commentary and there was a link to “finding God’s will for your life” and read a “grown up version” of the same teaching from the jellyfish book. Only the Holy Spirit could do this.

  • Ethan

    I have always liked the J.B. Phillips (1958) translation of Rom 12:2. “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God remold your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all HIs demands and moves toward the goal of true ministry “

  • Richie Malone

    I catch jelly fish in my cast net at Grand Isle, LA all the time. Strange little creatures, I find them fascinating. I, too, have thought they were somewhat at a disadvantage not being able to propel themselves away from my net. Now I see that I am also at a disadvantage when I choose not to propel myself away from the world’s net and toward the truth of God’s word. Great analogy!

  • Chérie

    That like minded thing. Wow? 
    JUST LAST NIGHT (nope … Not kidding?) the hubby and I were listening to one of our fave Bible teachers online and the subject was about popular “Christian Literature”, and how to know whether it is scripturally correct. He spoke of how easy it is if we don’t “know the Word of God” to flounder around and be swayed by others who get published but have serious scriptural errors and because its a NEW YORk TIMES best seller, Christians who aren’t paying attention and who don’t know the Bible well, will just buy into something easily. He used the “blind leading the blind” adage but its just like the jellyfish. You end up falling in a pit— or laying dead on the shore. Keep memorizing!

  • Chérie

    Love that verse in the Phillips translation Ethan. 🙂 So awesome. I’ve always loved that translation and so glad Bible Gateway has it online.