We have a 55 gallon fish tank with only 4 fish in it. Three of which are Silver Dollars, and I’m not sure how old they are they must be at least 5 or 6 yrs old. The other fish is an Oscar and boy is he energetic. He’s quite large and we’re a little leery about putting any other fish in there because he just may have them for a late night snack.
Today I began thinking about time and eternity and the fish tank became a great illustration. Those fish live their entire lives in that tank with absolutely no hope of ever experiencing anything outside of it. They swim back and forth, side to side and are completely at the mercy of whomever is on the outside taking care of them. More than likely they have very little concept of what goes on out here and are probably not concerned about it either.
The idea that those fish live their entire lives in that little 55 gallon square is sort of like our lives. We are born on this relatively small planet and other than a few astronauts never leave it. We are confined here and at the mercy of the one that lives outside of our existence. There are many of us humans, just like those fish, that never experience the hope of living outside of the temporal realm. Although some of us do begin to see and experience an existence from “out there.”
That Oscar fish I mentioned is unlike any fish I’ve ever had. He’s noticeably different than the others and seems to have an interest in what’s going on outside of the tank. When I walk by he follows me. At a certain time of the day I usually give him a little snack and he watches for me. When I go to the other side of the room to get the food he starts wiggling all over. Sometimes he even pops the top of the water with his mouth with excitement and maybe a little impatience. He truly does know what is going on outside of the tank.
I can imagine the conversation that is probably going on in that tank. The Oscar is saying, to the Silver Dollars, “Hey, did you see that? Here he comes again he’s going to feed us.” The Silver Dollars meanwhile are saying to each other “Get a load of that Oscar he’s really lost his mind. He thinks there are others out there. He must have eaten some bad worms.” On and on it goes the Oscar tells the Silver Dollars there is more to life than just what they can see in the tank, and day after day they make fun of him and say, “Nope we’re here by accident and this is all there is so why not get a grip on reality and stop dreaming of another world.” The Oscar says, “Don’t you know that light comes on everyday because someone turns it on? Where do you think that food comes from?”
This morning I realized the Oscar is like all of us that have received the Spirit of God. He has been granted the ability to see what’s going on outside of his realm of existence; he can see beyond the fishbowl. Without the Spirit of God we would be like the Silver Dollars not knowing the things of God or even that there is one.Without the Spirit of God we too are destined to live and die without ever knowing or experiencing anything outside of our little temporary existence. But upon receiving the Spirit of God we are given the mind of Christ that awakens us to a realm outside of our understanding. We begin to see things going on around us that may not always make sense to the some swimming around us day to day. Just because they don’t see it doesn’t mean we get to stop telling them there is more to life than just the fish bowl they are used to. We keep telling them and praying that one day their eyes will be opened too and they will begin to build a relationship with the one who holds the food; the real food which is Jesus Christ himself. Jesus said, “My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood dwells in me, and I in him.” Christ in us is our only hope to see, and he is our only hope of glory!
Written by Louie