Friday, October 05, 2007

Ministering from the Fish Bowl of Life

I have been obsessed with Gold Fish lately. If you don’t believe me check out the layout in the new CULTURESHOCK { publications- then September/October edition}.(( Melinda Poitras Editor in Chief did a Rock On JOB) In thinking about them today (I know I am weird) I thought about how it must be for them to have a life that everyone looks at daily.

Their mistakes- picking up pebbles in their mouth while trying to eat food- how many times have I put my foot in my mouth?

Their victories- the way they twirl and spin with loveliness

Their loneliness- Buy them in two like to have someone in your life how do you think they feel?

But just for the sake of this blog- let’s talk about the fishbowl.

From the time I was born I was in a Pastor’s home. Then when I was 4 ½ transitioned to a Missionaries home. I have been in the public eye from the time I was little- or today let’s call it the fishbowl. I would not trade it for anything- but yet I have always known that more was going to be required of me.

If we live our lives in the reality that we know someone is always watching us it can be an un-expected gift. What? A gift- Yes, a gift of seeking a greater level of being more like HIM. By cleansing yourself in HIM daily. I also great times of hurt, loneliness, and miss-understanding in that fishbowl. Times on deputation when I was just looking for one warm smile in a church filled with strangers, times where I wanted one new friend in a new school, times when I did not want to leave my country to return to the US, and finally times when I did not want to leave the US for my country. But with all of those feelings I was still – in the fishbowl.

I have a friend who was struggling with three small children aged 1, 2, and 3. She said there were days that she felt like she would want to scream. The only way she would get through the day was to act like she was a nanny, training other nannies, in front of a group of people. She would act as though she were a chef on a cooking show at dinner, and do her very best daily.

If I make an effort to realize that other’s eyes are on me I want to make sure they will see HIM in me. I want others to realize that I have to breathe in his Living Water in my gills daily. I have to exhale evidence that I am filled with his Holy Spirit.

A lot of times in my life I have found myself in a place where I was dependent of God to be fed. Our ministries are not based on anything WE have achieved. A fish does not flip and flop its way into the bowl of its choice. It can’t be super cute to attract just the right little girl or boy to take it home. It is intentionally placed there by the one who fully intends to support, nurture, and sustain life. So if you are feeling water logged today remember true ministry is received not achieved.

Sometimes our fish bowls become cloudy. Sometimes the ph (pride-humility) balance isn't quite right. Sometimes we get distracted by the curious onlookers. We feel intimated by the apparent audience and we begin to perform. Sometimes unexpected waves begin to churn when the bowl gets jostled.

The Bottom line is ride the waves. Look up and only up to be fed. Enjoy your boundaries. Wow did you say that? Yes – he has you in this bowl for a season AND for a reason. You are where Living Water is contained. I have prayed many times LORD SWITCH THE TANK NOW…but he has a reason to place us where we are for each season of our life! Swim ON.

Your purpose in the fish bowl is not to PERFORM but reflect the one who put you there in the first place. And while we are on the subject he is the only one that can promote you! He is the one who feeds you. He is the one who empowers you. When anyone takes a look in your fishbowl may they see HIM and only Him.

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children.” Eph. 5:1

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