I firmly believe that you can learn anywhere, anytime, doing anything; life's lessons just sort of creep up on you. Like ninjas.
The location: My house
The time: Completely irrelevant (a.k.a I can't remember)
The activity: Cleaning my fish tank
The toughest part of cleaning the tank is getting the little fellow out of it. He's very good at evading the net. The chase is long. He darts behind his little plastic shark, and he waits. We both do. Who's going to break first? Until I carefully knock his little sharky friend over and begin the chase anew. I talk to him the entire time. "Come on little fishy. This is a good thing," I tell him gently. "You don't want to swim around in this ick filled water forever, do you?" Because it's seriously gross. There's stuff floating on the top. So there I am, baby-talking my fish and trying to convince him to get in the stinkin' net when this thought hits me. I'm just like him. I can totally relate to my fish.
You're probably all like, "WTH?" at this point. Wait for it. Waiiit for it. It'll make sense. Eventually. Hopefully. So, anyways, my little guy has no clue that I'm chasing him around his tank for a good cause, does he? He doesn't understand that the black net will take him to fresh water. His little fishy memory can't remember all the previous experiences. The net's always a scary thing that chases him around his home. He's happy right where he is, because it's what he knows. It's what he's used to. It's comfortable. To me, in that moment, the net represented change.
Change happens. You can't escape it. You can't always control it. You don't know where it leads. It's flippin' scary sometimes. I see it looming on the horizon and I hold my breath. Why can't I just stay here with the way things are? It's not the best situation, but I'm comfortable in it because I'm used to it.
Thankfully I don't have a three second memory like my little fishy. I eventually remember that in the end change usually ends up leading to something better. Something better than the filthy water I was swimming around in before. It's not always obvious and it doesn't happen instantly, but it does. For instance, I have to get my fish out of his dirty tank to clean it, right? I can't clean it as well as I need to with him still in it. In the meantime he just floats around in a little cup and waits. I think we find ourselves in our own little cup sometimes, just floating around and wondering what the point is. Why was I taken out of a bigger, better place, and put into this? I don't know. God does, though. Can I tell you how relieved I am about that? Someone better, stronger, wiser has more control over my situation than I do! It might not be the most ideal situation. It might not be the perfect job, or the dream house with the perfect family, the perfect friends or the perfect grades. I might not be where I want to be, but it's temporary.
Finally the tank is clean. I always feel really excited at this point. The walls and his shark-friend are slime free, the water's fresh. He's never as excited as I am, though. I pick up his cup and gently pour him into his now sparkly-home and he tries to swim back in to the little cup. The goofy fish tries to stay in there as long as he can. If only my fish could understand that the quicker he gets into the net, the quicker the whole process would be! Easier, too. He's a fish, though, with his three second memory. He has an excuse for being so silly. Me? I have no such excuse. I still go through the silly cycle of trying to avoid what I perceive to be bad changes (the net, in case my analogy is still as clear as mud) instead of just accepting that I don't need to understand them right this moment. I have to remind myself that the changes will inevitably be good for me. They always are. I just have to swim into the net and trust. He is faithful. He has plans for me that are far greater than my own.
I could go on and on, but then it'd get even more confusing and strange and tangent-y, so I'll stop here. I don't know what challenges you're facing in life at this moment, but I hope my post made even the tiniest difference. At the very least I hope it reminded you to clean your fish tank!
In my very first blog entry, I told you that I often refer to song lyrics, so I will leave you with the lyrics from one of my very favoritest songs ever.
Thanks for reading! As always questions and comments are welcome :)