Once upon a time, long ago there was a very large body of water named Hinder. Hinder was not as large as an ocean but was almost that big as Hinder was the largest sea in the world. Most people of that time referred to Hinder as the Great Sea . For them they knew no larger body of water as hinder was almost 1 million square miles of water. ††In fact that is how Hinder got his name as he was so large he was in everybodyís way. He was just a big hindrance for to get around him, you had to travel a long, long way.
Now before I tell you about Hinder, I need to explain to you what water is really like. You see water is like the most basic thing to life that there is. If anything knows about life, its water. For most of the earths life forms live in water, need water to live and are made of mostly water. In fact you and I are over 90% water. Now you also need to realize that each body of water has a personality and a job and that job is to manage life itself. Yes the bodies of water on this world are all involved in some aspect of managing life on this world. Some in local areas like lakes and rivers and others like oceans managing life across the major continents even the whole world. So basically water is really important and guess what Ė the bodies of water on this planet know it. Yes the oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, streams and even ponds all know how important they are and because they do, they are all pretty arrogant (you know Ė kind of proud and stuck up). Well Hinder was no different and since he was so large he was as arrogant as the oceans despite not being one. Well anyway, now that you understand how bodies of water think and what they do, lets get back to our story about Hinder.
†Now Hinder was also well known among the peoples who lived nearby for the storms that Hinder generated, His warm water often creates quite some rough weather . If fact most people that traveled on hinder by boat liked to stay near the shore despite the fact that their journey was longer so they could get to land quickly when Hinder decided to whip up a storm.† That was good thinking too because Hinder loved whipping up storms when you least expected them and his waves could easily get big enough to flip over the largest boats of the time and Hinder liked doing that. Yes Hinder did not appear to like people at all .The bigger the boat the greater the challenge and Hinder had sunk many a boat but whipping up a fast moving storm.
Well one summer day, Hinder was doing his normal thing, moving his water from his deeper regions where volcanic vents spewed minerals and other basic nutrients into his water to his upper layers where fish and other life forms could use it when he noticed a small boat leave his eastern shore an head on a northwestern course following his summer current. Now Hinder was used to seeing boats of various sizes and this one was not that large so he would normally have ignored it. Little boats were not a challenge and he usually didnít waste his energy on them. But for some reason this boat caught Hinders attention. He watched it for a while and then decided it was too small to bother with. So he went back to moving his currents around but during the next 2 hours his attention kept coming back to that boat. Each time he looked back at the boat had a strong urge to whip up some waves and sink it but it hardly seem worth the effort as even a small storm would do it. Of course no challenge meant no fun so he would then stop.† Finally after† getting the urge for then 7th time in a row he figured he just better do it as this boat was really bugging him although he could not figure out why. Anyway he went ahead mustered up some medium size waves and a small wind storm and sent them crashing into the boat. Almost immediately the people on the boat started throwing their cargo overboard. Hinder had seen this many times as the people on the boats he sank tried desperately to lighten their ship so it could float on top of the waves and survive the storm. Of course Hinder knew the strategy so he responding by sending larger waves and really strong winds. He would win, he always did.
†As the larger waves hit the boat, Hinder watched as the boat nearly capsized. The people on the ship had stopped throwing things overboard so there was apparently no more cargo to dump so Hinder figured his next wave would swamp the boat but before he could send it, a group of men on the boat came to side and threw one more thing overboard Ė another man ! Hinder laughed at the poor human who apparently was considered just cargo as he landed face first in the water. The force of the belly flop must have stunned the man for he didnít struggle to stay afloat and immediately began to sink. Hinder was amused but quickly returned to preparing to send the next killer wave at the boat for he was sure the next wave would do it and sink the boat. As he began by pulling 40 million gallons of water into a huge wave when suddenly he lost his grip on the wave and it drained away harmlessly. Dog gone it Hinder muttered as he seldom lost his grip and reached down and grabbed 50 million gallons for a second try but again his grip failed and the water never even formed even a small wave.
Well now Hinder was angry. He had failed twice to form a wave and that had never happened before.† I suppose he was angry with himself but he was so mad at this point that the storm he started was calming down and he was more infuriated that the little boat was still afloat and headed for shore. Hinder was just not used to losing especially to such a small boat so he reached very deep this time and started to raise 100 million gallons of water up to the surface to crush the boat but as he reached deep he suddenly saw something really odd. For deep down where he reached he saw the man that had been thrown overboard. The man was lying near the bottom of Hinders deepest part in that area. It was an area so deep that some undersea mountains grew out of the earth there. Hinder called them mountain roots. Now Hinder had seen men drown and be crushed by the depths but this man was not crushed and he was not dead. He just had his head wrapped in seaweed and was still trying swim. Hinder was in shock! As he stared the storm he had started above lost its power and the small boat made it to the safety of shallow waters but ††Hinder had forgotten the boat† for he had to know, how was this man not crushed by the immense pressure of water above him ?. How was he staying alive?† Just as he finished asking himself these questions he noticed a great whale moving slowing along the sea floor. It was very deep for here for even whales but this one was slowly moving toward the man. Hinder thought that was odd as large whales donít eat large things. Large slow moving whales like this screened the smallest of ocean creatures through their large membranes in their gills and at those for food so you image Hinders further surprise when the whale opened his immense mouth, sucked in the man, and then continued its leisurely swim along the bottom of the sea.
Wow said Hinder, well I donít know how that guy stayed alive but despite his luck surviving my weight I guess heís fish food now. With that thought, Hinder remembered the boat above he was trying to sink and having forgot his previous failure he rushed back to finish the job.† By the time he reached the surface, however the water there was all calm and smooth and the boat was out of his reach. Hinder first got mad and tried to throw a tantrum storm but for some reason he could not. His seas remained calm so now Hinder began to be afraid. Something very abnormal was happening. Maybe he was sick he thought, that was it he needed a rest and so for the next 3 days there were no storms at all, not one across the whole great sea as Hinder took a rest and contemplated what had happened.
Towards the end of the 3rd day, Hinder once again saw another whale. †He noticed the whale because it was in very shallow water approaching Hinders eastern shore. Hinder figured the whale was sick too since whales avoid shallow water unless they get sick or confused. He had seen †some even beach themselves. It was a little sad to watch the whale headed for the beach as most died if the reached the beach. While Hinder did not like boats and the people that rode in them, he did like sea creatures so Hinder pushed a small wave out to sea to try and pull water back away from the beach area to suck the whale back into deeper water. But it didnít work and the whale continued his swim toward the beach. Hinder didnít try again but instead just watched the huge creature as it came to rest in the shallow sand at the beach. Most whales thrash or struggle when they beach and this whale opened his huge mouth and started to vomit. Hinder thought that was gross and was about to turn away for he did not want to watch that †but what happened next was the most amazing thing Hinder ever saw. It was so shocking that it completely changed the way hinder thought of people. For just as he was turning away, he noticed that the pile of slime the whale vomited out was moving. At first it was just a wiggle or maybe a jiggle that would not be uncommon for vomit. But within a few seconds the slime started to sit up then a few seconds after that the pile of vomit stood up and slow as the slime ran off it took the shape of a human. Hinder was thinking he was dreaming or seeing things and must obviously still be sick but when the human shaped pile of slime began to clean itself off and suddenly Hinder realized he was not seeing a slime monster but was actually witnessing† a whale barf up a† man,† a live man !† Hinders memory now raced three days backwards, back to the day this whole sickness had started. He remembered watching a whale like this eat a man at the bottom of the sea, a man that for some reason was not crushed by his huge weight. Could this be that same whale ? Could this be that same man? Impossible Hinder exclaimed. That was 3 days ago. There is no way that man could live under the sea inside a whale for three days, no way ! But as he watched,† the man now mostly cleaned off began to walk away from the beach. He was definitely prune-y looking but seemed able to walk. For a moment the man stopped and knelt down. Hinder thought he might collapse but he didnít. He just knelt for a minute and then got back up and walked away. Hinder was still watching the man as he disappeared into the hills near the shore when the whale made a groaning sound and began to thrash. Hinder suddenly felt a surge of great compassion for the creature and he reached out, grabbed 10 million gallons of water and sent a small wave headed forwards the beach. He was very happy to see the wave go and realize that this time he had not lost his grip. The wave hit the beach and did its job. It quickly lifted the whale and as the wave washed back out to sea it took the whale with it. Hinder was thrilled with a rush of joy as the whale swam happily out to sea. He had not known the joy of helping creatures before. For as long he could remember he had only gotten joy out of causing trouble and being a hindrance. Today he felt different. Now he wanted to be of help to others. And from that day on Hinder did. In fact today no one ever remembers calling him the Hinder Sea. Today he is known as Our Sea, the Beautiful Sea, the Mediterranean Sea. Sure Hinder still makes storms for the rain they bring is needed to support life, but after that day Hinder never again threw storms and waves at boats just to see them sink.
It is odd however that the man in this story went through almost the same lesson as did Hinder. For unknown to Hinder this man had been told by God to go to a large city of people and help them. He had refused because he felt the people were bad and did not deserve to be helped. God want to teach them how to be forgiven for their sins and wanted the man to tell them. But the man thought the people of the city were just too wicked and should be destroyed instead of forgiven by God. So he decided to run away so God would not make him tell them. But his encounter with Hinder, getting thrown overboard,† sinking to the bottom of the ocean, getting swallowed by a whale and then vomited back out on dry land taught the man to obey God and have compassion on people. That day on the beach he when he knelt, he told God he was ready to go and help the people of Nineveh and that just what he did. He went and preached to them and that day many turned to God and repented of their sins and the city was saved.
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Do you think of yourself as better than others ? . .Do you have compassion for people .. even the people who do bad things ? Well if you donít consider the story of Hinder and lets all get our joy from watching people be helped and not from watching people get crushed.