Each morning as I venture out of my home, 37 pair of wagging fins await my arrival. I have a small fish pond full of Koi. It’s uncanny that the moment my feet hit the porch, all my fishies eagerly swim to the east side of my pond awaiting their anticipated rations for the day. By their show of enthusiasm, you’d think I was the most popular person in their universe. I think I am. As I cast the little food pellets in and around them, they change from exuberant to almost piranha like. The larger ones muscle the smaller ones out of the way and within seconds eat the majority of what has been cast to them. Now satiated, the fish once eager to see me, now slip off for a comfortable nap under a lily pad and promptly forget me; until the next time. I can’t help but feel used.
The fish world seems no different from the world I live. There always seems to be a plethora of individuals who want something of me but rarely will they ever reciprocate the generosity I so freely give them. This morning as I watched the riots on the news from Baltimore, I couldn’t help but make a comparison to my Koi fish. Each individual fish cares little or nothing for the fish behind them. It’s every man for himself, or in this case fish.
A mother was arriving home with her little boy from a trip to town. As they exited their car to the sidewalk, the elderly next door neighbor was returning from a trip to the produce stand. In his arms he carried a bag full of delicious fruits and vegetables. Seeing the little boy, he smiled and reached in his bag and pulled out the most succulent orange. Leaning down he patted the boy on the head and said sweetly as only a grandfather type could, “I bet you’d love one of these” and placed it in the boy’s chubby little hands. The mother now smiling from this kind gesture, turned to her son and said, “What do you say?” To which the boy looked at the fruit, held up his hand immediately and said, “Peel it!”
This week as I have seen the carnage of angry protesters in Baltimore, I am struck by the realization that none of these individuals hold any gratitude for anything. They find no redeeming qualities in life except to enact revenge. Like the little boy, they think everything should be given to them with no effort on their part.
Harriet Martineau was an atheist. One morning she and a friend who was Christian, stepped out into the a beautiful fall morning. As she saw the brilliant sun peaking through the haze, and the frost on the meadow, and the brightly colored leaves flitting their way down lazily to the ground, Harriet was filled with the beauty of it all and blurted out the statement “I am so thankful. I’m just so grateful for it all.” It was at that moment her believing friend turned looking at her and asked, “Grateful to whom, my dear?”
What we’re seeing daily from Baltimore is not injustice and racism. What we’re seeing is a lack of gratefulness. The aggrieved have no relationship with The Creator; their focus has only been upon themselves. Regarding their anger, Romans 12:19 says, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
One day at the end of my life, God is going to ask me the very same question the mom asked her little boy when he was offered an orange, “Now what do you say?” It will be then that I will introspectively look over my life and voice to Him what I should be saying today and everyday; Thank You!