LIFE LESSON: Nibbled
I learned something new this summer. Like they say, you're never too old! hehe
On our family vacation we went to the Aquarium. As I carried my eighteen-month-old grandson from tank to tank, listening to his "wows", "whoas", and "yeas", my awe and appreciation of sea life was reawakened. The brilliant color, the intricate design that God displays in a creature so simple as a fish is breathtaking. "The greatest fashion designers in all the world are not so original, they have only copied what they see in God's underwater fashion show," I thought to myself. It is impossible to duplicate such beauty.
A favorite of Isaac's was the Touch Tank. The young man tending the tank lifted not-so-pretty sea urchins, hermit crabs, horseshoe crabs, flounder, turtles, snails, spider crabs, whelk and other critters. He shared interesting facts about each one as he offered the opportunity to touch them.
Most fascinating to me was the sea star, or more commonly, the starfish. When I touched it, I was surprised to discover it was not hard, but soft. Even more amazing is the life of a starfish. This particular one had a leg that was just a nubbin in comparison to the other four legs. The attendant explained that starfish often lose a leg through injury or because of other fish nibbling on them. It's their built-in defense system. If a predator attacks, they can drop an arm and get away. Not to worry, they have the capability of growing an entirely new limb! In fact, they are able to totally reproduce themselves.
It takes nearly a year for a sea star to grow a new arm. I'm picturing this as a time away, a period of life where they must not risk being exposed to predators and nibblers. They need time to heal, to regain their strength, to become whole again.
Sometimes we allow others to nibble away at us more than we ought. Predators of unhealthy relationships, lack of appropriate boundaries, or just the natural succession of life and living and giving of ourselves leaves us one limb short. It's the very reason that God ordained, from the very beginning, a Sabbath-rest for all of creation. The land, the sea, you and me: He designed us with this in mind, a cyclical time set aside for renewal and regeneration.
"There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish... (Hebrews 4:9-11NIV)."
- Identify your predators.
- Determine how you will alter your life to avoid attacks on your esteem, your time, your health.
- Pull away regularly for a Sabbath-rest, to heal, grow new limbs, rest and renew your trust in the Lord.
- Seek counseling to sort out deeper wounds that have left you vulnerable, needy, over-extended.
How amazing is our God? So amazing that the lesson that I learned at the Touch Tank was reiterated in the book I chose to read the following week. In Gifts From the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindbergh reflects on our need to occasionally pull away from demanding lifestyles and relationships.
"It is as if in parting, one did actually lose an arm. And then, like the starfish, one grows it anew; one is whole again, complete...more whole, even, than before, when the other people had pieces of one."
I am a speaker, writer, artist and an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene. I lead the women at NewarkNaz in Newark, Ohio. In 1998, God gave me a vision for Woven: Women of Virtue Network. It's a blessing to be involved in so many women's lives. Sometimes I think my heart will burst.
So very thankful for my hubby Mark. Extremely proud of my daughter speaker/author Nicole and son-in-law Matthew Bromley. Love my grandsons Jude and Isaac beyond measure.
Loving God with all my heart, soul, strength; and loving and leading others to do the same is the greatest joy of my life.