Bubbles from the Fishbowl

How are things in your fishbowl?

Alice Peck writes from the Mid-American Union.

Hi Sisters! How are things in your Fishbowl? I substituted at the school during the last couple of weeks, and the sixth graders were studying fish. Did you know that some fish (sharks and rays) don’t have swim bladders, and if they stop moving, they sink! Well, there are times we like and need to float a bit in our bowls, but most of us are like the fish with no swim bladders; we must keep moving. Spiritually speaking, we will sink if we don’t keep moving in devotions, prayers, and outreach. I usually say “keep swimming” at the end of an article, and now I know scientifically how that works!

Some of you may be feeling over­whelmed; you just want to float around (or maybe away). You need to do something—call someone, reach out to another, get some help, do less in some areas. (Yes, doing less may be “moving” to stay afloat.) If you don’t have a prayer partner, get one. Simplify your life. Purchas­ing store-bought bread and frozen prepared food for a while is not the end of the world! Spend time in prayer for others.

We are moving toward the extra-busy holiday season, and I have been thinking about thankfulness and joy; I believe the two are vitally con­nected. Recently, I received an e-mail with some thought-provoking words:

  • Be thankful your clothes are a little tight—it means you have plenty to eat.
  • Be thankful you are tired at the end of a day of work­ it means you have a job or family.
  • Be thankful you have sick, cranky, or annoying chil­dren—you have precious ones to love.
  • Be thankful your utility bills are increasing—it means you have heat and a home.

Sometimes we need to readjust our thankfulness level. We need to be thankful for less obvious reasons. Thank­fulness leads to joyfulness, and we all want joy in our lives. Jesus wants joy in our lives. He wants us to live abundant lives; He does not want us to merely exist in our fish bowls, simply floating aimlessly along or, worse, sinking to the bottom.

I enjoy inspirational cards. I once received one about joy. It quoted a thought by Mother Teresa, saying, “Joy is a net of love by which you catch souls.” What a wonderful thought. If we want to draw others to Jesus, we must have joy. The card went on to say that the net of joy must include humor, love, and play­fulness.

When we spend time being thank­ful, our joy grows. It’s so easy to for­get to be joyful because we are so busy just living life. I urge you to do something fun. Relax and enjoy the season, play with your kids, let the floor stay dirty for a while, look for and find the joy all around you.

Blessings to you all and yes, keep swimming!

Alice Peck writes from the Mid-American Union.