Wednesday, 30 December 2015

The Gift Triton Ghost Shrimp

The other day I was sent a link to a video from a friend. After viewing it I started the process of writing this blog.
The video shows a young woman playing a violin in the subway. For the next few minutes alternating scenes from the subway and her life are shown. Most people in the subway ignore her, in fact most don`t even look up from their phones. The alternate scenes are the lady playing her violin in front of full stadiums, receiving awards, etc. At the end of the video a small nativity scene is shown and the question is asked "do you see the gift?"
The woman`s name is Lindsey Stirling, she played Hallelujah.
Ignoring the obvious, in that a lot of  people refuse the gift of eternal life started by the birth of Jesus, I thought of the people in the video missing out on the here and now gift. The gift was the opportunity to see a world class violinist playing a beautiful song just for them, at no cost. Possibly busyness, fear or some other reason kept them from receiving this gift.

I thought of all the gifts in my life. A Pastor once wrote "if you honestly pray and thank God for every blessing in your life, you will not leave your house that day."
In a book by Gary Haugen he mentioned a gift he wished to leave with his children.
These are my thoughts of instilling a gift.
"As the father of two teenaged girls I have tried to leave them a gift. The gift I have tried to teach is to look down, and not up."
By that I mean, "Don`t look up at people who are more successful or have more money than you. Don`t look up at people who are more famous or attractive than you. Look down toward people who have less than you and need help. Look down and offer whatever you can: your time, your money, your love. Look down and thank God for each and every blessing He has given you, and share them with people who need them most."
Looking around at what I do have, and not what I could have had sobered me. I realize how many gifts in the form of family, friends, health, employment, freedom, etc I take for granted in my life.

"Now I`ve heard there was a secret chord that David played and it pleased the Lord." are the first two lines of Hallelujah.
I believe the secret chord in David`s life was obedience, and total trust in God. David fought a lion, bear when he was protecting his sheep. David defeated a giant who was mocking his God. This is the time in his life that God was most pleased with him.
For me obedience and trust comes from running yearly marathons in trying to bring healing to hurting people in Cambodia.

On December 26 Boxing day my family was getting ready to leave our house for a special birthday meal that took place in one hour. Isabella my younger daughter was very upset about her fish Triton and his health.
After investigating my family realizes his water is not healthy and we start a lengthy process of draining the water, cleaning his tank and refilling his tank with clean water.
Part of the deal of taking this fish from a friend was that my daughter`s were to be responsible for his care. I am upset and ready to let loose with a lot of angry, negative comments. Comments that would hurt someone who already feels terrible.
I realize part of my anger is thinking ahead and what it will cost me. Tomorrow was to be a very rare"me day." A day where I slept in, took it very easy, and had no responsibilities. Now I think about continuing the process of cleaning, and refilling the tank. I also think of going to the pet store with all the post Christmas shoppers at a busy shopping mall, not my idea of fun.
Before speaking I think of how God the father handles my sin, how He handled the prodigal son, how He relented on His punishment of David numbering his fighting men, how He gave Hezekiah healing. 
When calm I hugged Isabella and told her "there are consequences in life for our actions, and our inactions, however we will pray for mercy for your fish." I resisted the temptation of making promises either to God or my daughter.
The next day the pet store was packed of course. The nice lady who worked there made sure our filter was working and sold us ghost shrimp, as they help in cleaning fish tanks. She also told us the next few days were the most important for Triton.

After the second day I thought Triton would die as he was very sluggish and would only move a few inches. Today, the fourth Triton is moving around a little more and actually came to the surface for his feeding. The shrimp are fun to watch, especially when they eat, as the colour of their food shows through their transparent bodies. We may have created a different problem as Isabella has told my oldest daughter Katarina she cannot eat shrimp at restaurants any more as that would be like eating a family member.

In an earlier writing I wrote about some responses to my daughter`s sensitivity, such as being told my daughter`s could not live on a farm. That's fine God did not put us on a farm. I could not live on a farm either.
A friend remarked how she was like Isabella when she was young, a friend who is heavily involved in bringing freedom to the captives in Cambodia.
Studies done on serial killers, sadists, rapists etc have found many times these people started out by inflicting pain on animals.
Instead of trying to push down my daughter`s sensitive nature, why not embrace it for possibly God is using her love and compassion of animals as a way of preparing her for her calling of a group of marginalized people later in life, much as He did with me.


1 comment:

  1. I'm struggling today with some very sorrowful news in the life of a friend. Your post blessed me greatly, Larry. It's so good that we can rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. Praying for Triton to regain health! Blessings for 2016 for your whole family! Linda Ruth