Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Time for Everything

"We may have a code red."

As soon as the words left my husband's mouth, his eyes diverted over to the fishbowl. Mine followed, quickly observing our largest and oldest goldfish exhibiting the infamous side-tilt float of a fish soon to be no more.

Great. Three goldfish dead in a week. A very tender-hearted son with a love for all animals. It was shaping up to be an interesting evening...

I am sad to report that Goldie, the longest living goldfish in the history of the Beer household, is resting in his watery grave tonight. We had hopes that he might snap out of it, but after an hour of observation, holding and hugging our crying son (our daughter, after a brief emotional display of sadness, quickly moved on with her evening), we determined that Goldie had gulped her last.

Our son just could not move past this sudden demise of his "favorite" pet. We told him how lucky he was to have had over a year with the fish, that fish usually don't live that long, that God didn't create fish like people, that God wanted him to be sad for a little while, but it was time to move on.....But nothing seemed to help. He wallowed, yes wallowed in his grief all evening, sniffing and snorting and blowing and flopping down. It was quite a show. I was very sympathetic for a long while. I really do appreciate the fact that he is so sensitive to our pets. But an hour later, my mind was screaming, "GET OVER IT! IT WAS JUST A FISH! MOVE ON! " But I held it together.

It got me thinking about how we must appear to God at times when we can't move past our grief, our sorrows, and our worries. How we can let those things consume us. I also thought about and tried to explain to Alex about how there is a time for everything.... a time to be born, and a time to die, that everything works together in God's plan. That God didn't make his fish die, but God can use this pain for good to help us learn or to lead us to help others. That moving on from the pain of a loss or disappointment, as difficult as it may be, is part of God' plan too. He doesn't want us to remain bogged down by our sadness or anger or guilt. His plan is for our good!

I told Alex that we can't help God further his kingdom here if we pout and carry on. We can't do His work with that attitude. There is a time to weep and a time to laugh. A time to mourn and a time to dance. But we need to know when to move on from those sad times to the plans that God has in store for us.

I love it when I give a little sermon to my children, then realize I need to take my own advice....:)
I have wallowed in my own little pity-party a time or two. How about you? How can you move on from something that is bogging you down in your walk with Christ?

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