Saturday, April 5, 2014

Growing Goldfish

“So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth” -1Cor. 3:7 Did you know that goldfish can grow up to fifteen inches when they’re released into the wild? Fifteen inches! That’s huge. Did you also know that kids, when they’re properly released, can grow as well? Those cute little goldfish bought at Wal Mart seemingly morph into monsters when released. And this is presenting a problem in lakeside communities where the little darlings are disposed of in the public water system. Officials at Lake Tahoe say the giant goldfish are increasing at an alarming rate. The lakes are filling up with these oversized beauties. Give them warm water and a limitless food supply and they just keep growing and growing. Kids grow when they’re released as well. Of course, it’s how they’re released that matters. When raised with the ability to grow and search out the right environment, most kids absolutely thrive. But they have to be given the chance to leave. Most people love little goldfish. They’re pretty and simple. Sprinkle a few specks of food on the top every day and clean out the tank occasionally and the maintenance is low. Have you ever tried to maintain a lake of fish? It’s a whole other matter. I spent a few summers at my Uncle Donald’s home in rural Georgia. He had a lake stocked with fish. I loved to go with him to feed the fish. As we’d deposit the bucket loads of food into the lake, the fish would crowd around the boat trying to get a bite. It took a lot of food and a lot of algae maintenance to keep the lake livable for the fish. Let’s face it- it’s easier to take care of a fish bowl than a lake. Little fish are easier to care for than big fish. But fish like to grow. Fish need to grow. There is a fish hatchery near Table Rock dam, not too far from our home. Fish are raised in controlled tanks, up to a certain size, then they’re released into Table Rock and Taneycomo lakes to grow and thrive. As parents we’re not called to cultivate a healthy fishbowl. We’re called to teach our kids how to live in the lake. Parents are called to operate a healthy “catch and release” program- to let their kids go. While we’re raising our little fishes, we need to teach them to lean on the loving God who wants to care for them, how to avoid the lures that seek to entrap them, and where to find the food that sustains them. Then, we release them. It’s scary. Lakes are big and dark and risky. But it’s the place where they can grow and thrive. Let them go. Let them grow. Let them know that they can lean on a loving God. He’s much more secure than any parent can ever be… …and more secure than a fishbowl. By Eric Joseph Staples ©

No comments: