Jellyfish in My Bible

Today I went to the aquarium. When I step into those front doors I am more excited than the hundreds of elementary schoolers that make up most of the crowd.

The ocean and anything related to it always brings me a sense of peace.

Maybe it is the calming effects of the water.

Maybe it is the colors of the fish.

Maybe it is the idea of exploration.

 

Today, it was the jellyfish.

 

The jellyfish  (the aquarium made it very clear to refer to them as “jellies” because they are not fish) brought to mind a few lessons that Scripture teaches us.

1.Go with the flow

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”- Jeremiah 1:5 

Jellies move with the water. It is not in their nature to fight the current. For their entire lives they follow the path of the ocean. We need to be more like jellies. In Jeremiah 1:5 we are told that God made each one of us with a purpose and plan.

We are formed to follow the current of His will. 

 2.  Food will come

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? –Matthew 6:25-26

According to Wikipedia jellies are “passive” hunters. Basically this means when the food comes to them they eat. In order for this to happen fish and other ocean life must swim into the path of the jellies. I will make an argument that jellies could be added to this Scripture passage. Just like the sparrows, our heavenly Father feeds the jellies. Today, remind yourself that Christ has placed the food along your path.

Though it may feel as though the ocean is rough and pushing you in a different direction, Christ has prepared the food.  

 

    3. Not everyone will like you

“Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.- Luke 6:22

Though I think jellies are awesome a lot of aquarium goers do not. Maybe, it was because they had gotten stung in the past. Maybe, the sharks just seemed cooler. Maybe, they just did not notice them at all. I do not think the jellies have the brains to notice (they do not have brains at all). Therefore, they obviously do not care that the other marine life is favored by the aquarium visitors. As Christians we are called to be different. We are called to accept the fact that as followers of Christ people will dislike us. Just like the not  jellies we must show that this behavior does not offend us.

Rather, we are just happy to be who we are: followers of the King of the World. 

Friends, be a jellyfish today.

Follow the current.

Let go of the past that holds you down and drags you to the depths of the ocean.

Float with friends and family through life.

Sting all that is evil before it stings you.

 

“When you move like a jellyfish, rhythm is nothing. You go with the flow. You don’t stop.”

-Jack Johnson

 

 

Girls Don’t Deserve Roses

To all my women readers,

In a few hours it will be Valentine’s Day. Ever since childhood, we have engrained images in our our minds about this special day.

Valentine’s day cards, chocolate, teddy bears, and especially roses.

Lots of pink and red everywhere.

The first couple years of college, I thought about how special this day was for a lot of girls all over campus (some do not care much for it). I knew the feeling of being noticed and getting flowers meant so much to certain girls that did not have a special someone in their life. Even as a guy I can empathize. To be given gifts and to be noticed feels good.

Gifts demonstrate acknowledgement. 

Gifts illustrate that someone cares.

Gifts make us smile. 

Therefore, for the last couple of Valentine’s Days, I decided to give many of the girls in my life flowers. Cause why not right? Not necessarily in a romantic way (well, maybe a few) but just to show them that someone cared on this day. I loved seeing them smile. I loved making it a surprise. I loved letting them know someone was thinking about them on Valentine’s Day.

However, my attitude has changed this year.

This year I will not be buying flowers.

This year I have developed a new motto,

“Girls Don’t Deserve Roses.”

Before anyone gets angry at me…let me explain.

I am not anti-rose. I think flowers make a beautiful gift.

As I sit with friends and joke about the Bachelor every once in a while a sadness strikes me. I observe all of these beautiful women stare at a single rose that this guy Nick is holding. The way in which they stare is as if the rose is the last antidote and they are ill. When they do not receive the rose I can see their hearts shatter.

They feel rejected.

They feel lonely.

They feel like they messed up.


As I reflect on this, it is very much like Valentines Day. Some women in my life I know will feel hurt tomorrow because they do not receive a flower or gift from a man in their life. Others may not care at all. However, to the one’s that it does impact they may feel as though they are not attractive. They may feel like something is wrong with them. They may even feel like they did something to deserve loneliness.

I am here to tell you today that girls do not deserve roses:

Girls deserve much much more.

As we see in the Beauty and the Beast roses die. Roses and other gifts are a great way to show appreciation but to me….that is to easy.

I want to and I hope all men want to live in such a way to show all the women in our lives that they deserve so much….every.single.day.

To all my women readers.

You are worth more than a few petals and a stem.

You are worth more than a few chocolates.

You are worth more than a nicely written card.

I encourage you to wait for a man who keeps on giving gifts. Each and every day.

The gift of treating you like a best friend. 

The gift of listening to you.

The gift of having deep conversations with you.

The gift of cheering you up.

The gift of being there for you, praying with you, praying for you, etc. 

Girls. You do not deserve roses. You do not even deserve a bouquet.

You deserve gifts that won’t wilt.