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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Goldfish and his God

"What a mess I have to clean up," I thought as I rubbed my sleepy eyes and grabbed another cup of coffee. Our trip to Illinois was wonderful, but now it's back to the real world of putting our clothes back, doing laundry and shopping for little necessities like milk. All the work that was put on hold while we were gone is now screaming for my attention. And to top it off, the holidays are only one week away and I have parties to plan.

We have a goldfish. I guess that's what he is. He's huge. I guess it's a He. Anyway, Amie bought him for Jamie almost 6 years ago. He cost 27 cents and at that time was tiny. Now he looks good enough to eat except that you can't eat something you've known for a while. Well...I can't anyway.

I try to keep his tank clean but this has to be the messiest fish on the planet. It's a real chore to scrub all the algae and rinse the rocks and get the tank clear and clean again. It only lasts about 10 days and then it's so green or brown (it alternates color) that you can't see through the water. I feel sorry for this beautiful gold fish with it's fancy tail having to swim around in icky water. I moan and groan about it, but I always feel good when the tank is clean and the fish is happy.

Today there is too much to do. The fish will have to wait. As I pick up the food container he follows my hand to the top of the water and begins "slurping" for food even before I drop it in. He knows the routine. My form comes to the edge of the tank, the orange container moves, the top on the tank makes a snap noise as it opens and food drops from above. He's familiar with the routine. He trusts my hand. He has faith that I will deliver what he needs just as he needs it.

In that moment, I am his God. I am everything to him. He is hungry and I am supplying his need.

Don't think I'm getting crazy here. I don't believe that in any way we are Gods and that we are somehow on the level as the almighty. That's false teaching and I don't believe in that.

But the situation did cause me to think about how we definitely are God's instruments. How many times every day do we do his work?

If you care for animals - you are doing God's work.
If you care for friends or family - you are doing God's work.
If you give a cup of cold water in his name - you are doing God's work.
If you volunteer at church even if it's only to sweep the floor - you are doing God's work and taking care of His house.

Every time we take care of something or someone in this world, we are the hands or mouth or feet of God.

How many times do we betray who God is by letting people down with our bad attitudes, nasty behavior or just lack of concern?

My parents like to eat out. Everywhere they go they talk to the people around them. When they eat - everyone is a friend. And in those moments when they smile, give a word of encouragement, touch a hand and say a prayer - they are doing priceless work for God. We tease them, but it's the truth - they are missionaries to the mall.

My husband is tired and weary with his job. Retirement is still in the future. He's been put in charge of the trucks that will be hauling the shoe boxes for Franklin Graham's "Christmas Child Project". It will require extra hours at work and a lot of stress during an already stressful workload. We watched a video on the responses from last years project. We both were in tears. Ron is doing God's work even though he is in an office creating the plans that will get all the semi's to the right place on time.

Every mother that stops what she is doing and takes the time to hold her child and pray for their little cut or broken heart - she is doing God's work.

Perhaps we would all feel better and catch a glimpse of the bigger picture if we sat down and counted the many times in each day that we touch others.

How many people are watching you and waiting for you to move your hand toward their life and sprinkle God's love into their hungry hearts?

I love the story about a preschooler who followed Mom around all day. He was so close on her heals that she almost tripped over him several times. Finally frustrated at his behavior she snapped, "Allen, why can't you go play somewhere else? Mommy is busy."

Little Allen looked so heartbroken and sad. Mom bent down beside him and continued, "Okay, bud...what's wrong?"

"My Sunday school teacher said that I should follow in Jesus footsteps. But I can't see him, so I was following yours."


You are SO important.

God needs you.

You need God.

God loves you very much,


1 comment:

Ken Crocker said...

Great Writing.