Tuesday, September 21, 2010

No fish funerals

The carpet in my office is starting to stink. Last Sunday, the newly planted aquarium cracked, leaking 10 gallons of water over a beautiful oak cabinet and onto the floor. The little drawers fused shut. W is hopeful that as the wood dries, the drawers will shrink so I can access my art supplies again. 

Meanwhile, the smell of rotting fish water is more and more unpleasant. "Dry already!" I command the stubborn dampness.

Eight fish died overnight in the "Aquarium-ONLY" bucket. (Obviously, something else has been in there, not just aquatic water.) By morning, six fish floated to the surface, so I scooped and tossed them into the garbage. The other two disappeared. No scaly funerals allowed, but I regretted the rough night for the fish school.

Monday morning, I bought the first 10-gallon tank I could find, filled it with filtered water, popped the survivors into it, and hoped for the best. So far, so good. The bellies of the tetras are still pointing down.

I wouldn't have blinked at the minor catastrophe and cleanup if my life were on pause. But on this particular Sunday morning, I was looking forward to hearing W teach a Bible study. We had guests coming for lunch. Meanwhile, my dissertation proposal is limping toward its month-end deadline. And I'm prepping a five-session writing class. 

Needless to say, I missed the Sunday session. Lunch was fine - I cook on autopilot after so many years, so we enjoyed two small beef roasts, vegetables, potatoes... and fresh fruit cakes baked by my mom. 

After rescuing the fish, I am two days behind on my proposal deadline and I spelled "Writing" as "WRTING" on today's introductory handout to the English students. Unimpressive. 

Evening falls. I read the daily news online, as usual. Floods, famines, hurricanes, and wars abound. My little fishy trauma is nothing but a tiny interruption in a season of plenty. My heart is grateful tonight for abundant blessings. 

Heartache comes to us all as part of an imperfect world. But when real disaster strikes, I don't want to look back at days of whining and complaining over life's little upheavals. I'd rather have spent my time in admiration and appreciation for God's provision and faithfulness.

What are you thanking God for today? 

Read more: 
*Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. Psalm 90:2 NEV

*Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD. Psalm 150 NIV 

*For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 

Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-11 NIV

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