"For crying out loud"...I can hear them say..."it was only a fish!"
When I checked on Alfie this morning he/she was on the bottom of the tank, lying on its side, pale of color, dead.
Last week I bought a beautiful Betta and brought it home. We gathered together everything one needs to properly care for a fish; tank, fish food, net, temperature gauge, etc. I fed it on schedule and followed all the directions. Alfie Betta was a beautiful deep burgundy color with large fins.
This last Wednesday there were parts of fins on the bottom of the tank; what's happening? I checked the water, cleaned the tank, and worried a little. He seemed active enough, but stopped eating. No matter how or when food was presented it just soaked and sank untouched.
Angrily, I threw the water and dead Alfie over the railing into the brush between the deck and the lake. Death...the death of any of God's creatures always makes me angry...not at God...but at the reason(s) for death, and of course the reason is sin. Angry? Yes. A little sad? Yes. But mostly angry.
My mind is telling me it was only a fish... True; but such a beautiful creature that depended on me for life and health, and who, for reasons unknown to me met his Omega sometime during the night. The same thing happened to tens of thousands of God's creatures last night all over the world: The aged, little children, the newborn, the discarded (aborted)...by accident, by design (suicide), by war, by hatred, by revenge, by drugs and alcohol, by every imaginable means. It was only a stupid fish! True; but he's dead...and I am angry.
Today is Sabbath and so far it has not been a very happy day. I guess my personal take-home lessons I learned from Alfie are these;
1. to not buy another fish (an act of self protection against more sadness).
2. to enjoy ever-shortening span of days ahead.
3. to praise God that I still am swimming in the stream of life.
4. to ask God to let me be a blessing today to life forms both higher and lower.
5. to witness for Him at every opportunity, telling of His love.
6. to love my wife and children more...and the neighbor with his three free running dogs.
7. and to tell someone that there is a God who cares about dead sparrows and little fish.
Some days the Mind of The Essayist is too much even for him.
Be a blessing while it is called Today. e.c.