My daughter has a fish named Breathmint. It just so happens that was what she was chewing on when I asked what we should name her.
Breathmint is a red Beta. She lives by herself in this fancy glass vase on our living room coffee table. She is a Beta so she will obliterate any other fish that comes into her space. So what does she do for fun? Well, she floats here. Then she floats there. It makes for a pretty lonely life.
She really only lives for one thing: to eat.
Every time I come around with her little pellets she scurries under the safety of her plastic aquatic plant. God knows I’m not there to harm her. I mean, I could wrench her out of the water, stuff her with Kleenex and mount her on the wall of my man cave between my autographed photos of Mike Napoli and Hank Blalock but I’m not like that. Not only would that look really silly… but it would be pretty mean.
I clean her living area weekly, feed her, watch over her and make sure she has everything she needs. I am a god to this fish. I know what’s best for her.
What does this sound like?
Aren’t we all a little like fish ourselves?
God sits outside our fishbowl and gives us what we need when we need it. It’s up to us to live with what’s been given to us. Sometimes, when things happen, we blame God because we think that we know best. But perhaps, God was just “changing our water” because we’d been swimming around in our own filth for too long.
Granted, this is a simple comparison but the parallelisms are there. While Breathmint is a dumb, tiny fish incapable of fending for itself outside of creatures similar to it, she does have a brain like us humans do. A brain with limited capabilities… but a brain nonetheless.
So let’s pretend we’re all fish for a moment. As “fish” we may not understand why we haven’t been “fed” today or why that giant thing with weird fins that lives outside of our fishbowl hasn’t given us a new plastic aquatic plant in a while. We don’t know what’s best for us. If we’re overfed then we’ll eat ourselves to death. If a new plant isn’t washed properly then it may kill us when it’s placed in our bowl.
But we’re fish. We just live for ourselves. In a sort of organized chaos: Swim. Eat. Sleep. Poop. Swim in it. Swim some more. Eat. Eat. Repeat.
Quite frankly, there is so much going on here then what is in our own little fishbowl. We are not human beings right? We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
Breathmint “wonders” who I am with my weird fins and such and she carries on like I don’t exist. But if I did cease to exist, she would die. She needs me to live.
Without God, whether you or anyone else wants to believe it, we will shrivel up and die too; much like little Breathmint would if I ceased to exist.
Outside the fishbowl… there’s so much more going on than little Breathmint can even comprehend.
Don’t we all have something in common with this little fish?