So, my husband got a fish tank recently and added some new fish. We have one fish that has lived for several years. The old tank was getting really gross and everything inside had a grey cast to it. The fish seemed upset by this but I didn’t say anything, lest hubby might call me the “fish whisperer” or something. I did sense their dissatisfaction however. The glass was even getting murky brown.

One day he left the house with a vial of something. All day I prayed, interceded and cried out to God on hubby’s behalf. I was sure it was cancer or something worse. Maybe I should have been more intentional about our nutrition and diet? The man I loved was possibly too frightened by a bad report to tell me what he was facing.  When he came home he let me know that the people at the fish store said his water needed some different chemicals. I know we are on a budget, but seriously?  I thought “man, for something so important why are you trusting people at a fish store with your health? “ Ends up, he was having the fish water tested – who knew such things took place? Magically, the fish tank kept  changing.  It is such a good idea for me to stick to other things in our marriage because clearly, or in this case, dimly, this was not my area of expertise.

Eventually, new fish began to appear replacing the ones who died from either the brown water, the stressed out lady watching the water or possibly they went on to fish Heaven, no one really knows. In that mix , a snail was purchased. This snail was not your average snail. It was not taupe in color but a bright orange. Instead of sliding along through life she would show up on the bottom of the tank, the side, the top –all in one day. One morning, I woke up and everything looked bright and brilliant inside the tank. The rocks were tan instead of black and the foliage was green. I thought I was more chipper, possibly had more coffee that morning, but after several days of estimating this, I realized this exceptional snail had sucked up the mold, garbage and toxins throughout the tank. It looked like someone had scrubbed the castle and the submarine which was pretty amazing. Hubby was given a gift of beauty that could also clean. Hmmm?  Nice combo.  Glad for snail’s example.

Miss snails destiny – garbage sucking. Pure unsophisticated garbage removal. Who would want that for a job or career? She did not pass on the garbage or slide it elsewhere, she sucked it up and removed it. Impressive. Everything in her path became brighter – not because she painted, glossed or polished, she merely removed the trash in her way. The results were gorgeous and displayed brilliant color. She was doing exactly what she was created to do. I’m not a huge fan of fish (too many bad flushing experiences as a child perhaps) but this snail has caught my attention. She makes the tank, our home, the world – a better place. I like her better than some people I know because of this. She removes stains and  keeps moving forward. She shines dark places.

Hubby and I won the “ugly sweater” contest at church last week. He wore a tree on his head and I wore a sweaty sweatshirt and grumped “bah humbug” in an ugly manner. It was fun to be ugly for an hour but I missed  smiling and being positive for Jesus. Do I let others “garbage” affect me or move on to polish?  Our snail does not get snagged by garbage, it actually propels her forward. Sadly, I’m not sure I am as spiritually mature as the snail in my fish tank. Sometimes I linger and grumble about the dirt and garbage, instead of just moving on.  1 John 3:8 says for this purpose was the Son of God manifest – to destroy the works of the evil one. Wherever Jesus went, he made things better and BRIGHTER. Bringing beauty is a choice, not for the fast or furious but the faithful.

Keep going today – whatever your pace, shining and knowing God, your creator watches and sees it all.

Renae Roche 2018