This was finally it! The year we would be famous. No longer would we live in the ambiguity of ‘normal’, bound to the status quo of average. My friend Robert and I were ready to rise to the ranks of society’s elite. Our lives would be forever changed. Far too long had we toiled in the typical routine that all of our peers seemed to be stuck in day in and day out. It was our time to shine, our time to secure a place for ourselves on a quick road to success. We would do it. We would create it and amaze them all, and they would call us kings for it!
It was spring of 1989 and I was in the most rigorously challenging time in my life up to this point. I was in the fourth grade, the year that I would change and shock the world. It was no secret to Robert and myself that the Spring Science Project was coming up, for we had been discussing in secret the preparations for it over Christmas break knowing very well all that hinged on this year’s event. We knew that as our colleagues worked away at the far too typical erupting volcanoes and foam solar system models, we would be creating our most ingenious plan yet. One that even Einstein himself would marvel at would he still be alive. In the beginning stage we had toyed with the idea of a weather/spy balloon, but that proved to be far too low of a bar. We both knew that the government had already sent numerous spy satellites into our atmosphere and we would not be out-maneuvered by a mere government. No… our plans were far greater. This was our one shot out of the elementary school system and we were not about to blow it on an outdated means of covert neighborhood surveillance. We would match the wits of God himself… we would need a glass jar.
Both of us had grown up in church, and had a healthy respect for our Creator and all that he had accomplished, but as of yet we knew he hadn’t thought of this. We knew he had been so busy setting the planets in motion, making the sun rise every morning and keeping the ocean in check, he had missed one minor detail. We knew we had only but a short while before he perhaps got around to it, and we would be robbed of our lucky discovery and plan. Yes! We would do it in our clever glass jar. We would create the world’s first “Fish-Bee”! The world had never seen a fish / insect like it before, and it was our plan that would bring it to them!
I have discovered as I grow older the amount of decisions that I am personally responsible for are not only increasing but growing in complexity. Plans that I feel I must continue to create and strive after become more and more elaborate as they have a lasting effect on what my future will look like. I continue to feel as I did when I was in fourth grade. That is, in order to ensure my own personal success, that I must play the part of my God.
The Attitude of Personal Attention
Getting wrapped up in the perception that we can only trust (whether consciously or unconsciously) our own instincts and leadings is primarily based on the lack of connection with our Lord and the feeling of isolation that it carries with it. The trap of allowing ourselves to feel alone in our daily tasks or decisions is based partially on our desire for heartfelt personal attention. It is here that we can find ourselves uncomfortably alone and gain the false perspective that we are the only ones who inherently and truly care about our own well being. Therefore life’s decisions rest on the shoulders of those who care, ourselves. The problem; the fact is we are not the only one who truly and passionately cares for our well being.
It is a fact the Creator of our universe; the Lord God himself is fervently concerned with our life:
“11 For I know the plans that I have for you says the Lord, they are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days you will pray and I will listen. 13 If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me. 14 I will be found by you..”
Jeremiah 29:11-14 NLT
It is so easy, as a Christian, to quote the first section of that passage. Not only are we reminded of it over and over again (like right now), but it is printed on post cards, t-shirts, and even candy. It is a great verse to know and recognize but without the following verses, the first, though still understood, becomes infinitely more difficult to actually experience. We lose the reality of the promise in the first part of the passage without the daily practice of the last half. We lose the experience of the personal attention of God, and find it in ourselves. In short, a lack of intimacy with our Lord and Savior, can lead us to make radically selfish and ridiculous decisions; our very own “Fish-Bee’s”.
Practicing Intimacy with God
(Three easy guidelines from the prior passage)
Pray – It’s a simple concept towards growth, but so few of us actually practice it.
Look – Search the scripture to understand the character of God.
Seek – Position your life in the pursuit of the Living God and his Son Jesus Christ.
We consistently find ourselves in difficult and daily tasks that require our attention. It is here that we are continually afforded the opportunity of choice, one whose options are limited by the paths that we take prior to the time at hand. We must come to a place where we do not simply understand the passion of God for us, but we come to experience it in our own personal lives. Will you be in the place where you will know and experience the Will of God, or will you attempt to build for yourself the world’s second Fish-Bee?