Saturday, March 7, 2009

Aquarium fishes


We had 4 fishes in our small kiddie aquarium and one of them died yesterday because Smita fed them too much and the food and their poop raised the mercury content in the water. So I had to do an emergency clean up yesterday so that we can keep the other three alive.

I think many Christians are like aquarium fishes - they look beautiful in the tank but you have to keep them alive by providing them a comfortable environment, right amount of food, clean water, clean filter, right temperature etc. They can't survive even a small change in the settings. They are very delicate.

Now, consider the fishes in the ocean. Their survivability is much higher because they are in the wild and they know how to cope with wilderness.

They are not in the tank.

In the tank, there is no much room for error because tank is very confined. A confined environment get contaminated soon.You over feed them or under feed them, they will die in both cases. You disrupt the nitrogen cycle in the tank, they will die.

You change the order, style or time of the service, many will leave. Because they immediately become uncomfortable. They need the cycle to be continued without disruption, they need to be fed with the right amount of food. You take the bottle out of their mouth and give them steak, they will die due to indigestion. Since they are not in the wild, they don't hunt for food themselves. So you appoint a feeder, usually a pastor. His job is very stressful because the lives of the inhabitants of the tank is now in his hands.

He keep giving them a pattern to follow and as long us they are in that comfort zone they are alive and would look great from outside. But don't jump into the tank deceived by their beauty. Its so hard to get out of the tank. The tank is usually in a temperature controlled living room. It's an artificial environment. It's not real. You can only entertain others showing your external beauty but you will never experience the wildness (natural state).

Fishes are not created for tanks!

As long as they are in the tank their life depends on the caretaker and the artificial environment.

Free them, then they will learn to live in the wild, in the freedom. They will swim in the depth and vastness of the ocean. They will develop immunity to fight problems, enemies. They will learn to discern. They will start using their own mind. They will dump the law of the tank and embrace the freedom of the grace. You don't need to spoon-feed the fishes which are in the wild. Because they are now living like their Creator intended them to live.

18 comments:

Joel B. said...

Excellent analogy Bino! It really is very hard to leave the tank and function in the wild, when we've been propped up and maintained by a person or by a system, but yet we can't stay there! We need to live in the wild where we were created to live.

I think people have a hard time with the word "wild," thinking loose and sinful, but really "wild" means living out of the bounds of religion and the control of others, and living in free way that God created us.

I'll never look at a fish tank the same way again!

Amy said...

Bino,
First, I am sorry for yours and your kid's loss of the fish. :(

This blogpost is a wonderful analogy, my friend! Love it! Indeed, we fish do not belong in the tank. We Fish belong in the Wild, fed, led and nurtured by Papa Son and Holy Spirit.

Blessings,
~Amy :)

JunkerJorge said...

I have had no luck with mu fish eithere, especially angel fish. But my neons live forever.

theoldadam said...

Or, they will be eaten!

Bino M. said...

Joel,

When I first heard the term 'wild' in terms of living in a relationship with God, I too thought it means being loose and doing whatever we want. In other words, indulge in sin as much as we want. It has such a meaning as well as in 'wild with rage'.

But, this is what I like:

living in a state of nature; not tamed or domesticated

In other words, living the way we were intended to live. The way Adam and Eve lived in the garden of Eden before the fall (in total union with God and thereby in total freedom).

We were created to be indwelled by our Creator and live inside out. But religion does just the opposite - creating an artificial environment and try to live by the externals. It can only kill us.

Bino M. said...

Amy - Thank you! fed, led and nurtured by Papa Son and Holy Spirit. Amen!

Bino M. said...

JunkerJorge - Thank you for visiting! We have only gold fish varieties, the tropical ones are even more delicate and need a heater as well...

Bino M. said...

Steve - You eat gold fish?

Nancy said...

Makes me think of this Far Side cartoon...There were 4 fish in the tank two sitting at a table in the bottom of the bowl...2 floating belly up at the top...The wife fishy with the pointy glasses says to the hubby fishy,"You just had to encourage them to take thirds!"

lionwoman said...

I love this! I've heard several comparisons between us as believers and animals in the wild. I think this one is my favorite. It makes me think of "Finding Nemo."

Bino M. said...

Nancy - LOL! Thank you for visiting!

Amy - Thanks! I didn't really think about 'Finding Nemo' but now when you said it, it makes sense.

Aida said...

Wonderful post, Bino. Your analogy is great.

Whatever is kept in a tank will have its growth stunted because the tank environment only allows it to grow to a certain size. Yet out in the wild, where food and space is plentiful, it will grow to its full intended size.

This is also true of believers who are raised in the tank of institutional church. Normal growth is stunted. It's only when they are released into the wild that their potential for growth becomes unlimited.

Joel B. said...

This post and the conversation reminds me of Paul Anderson-Walsh's book The Bonsai Conspiracy. I have not yet read it (though I plan to, and I know others who have), but in my own words the premise (from what I understand) is based upon Bonsai trees, which are grown in short or small pots, making it impossible for the roots to grow deeply, thereby intentionally stunting the growth of the tree.

Indeed that's what seems to happen in the tame tank of the IC.

Bino M. said...

Aida - Thank you! You added great points!

Joel - I really wanted to read that book, but don't know how to get a copy. The analogy sounds great!

Joel B. said...

The Bonsai Conspiracy is available on the Grace Walk resources site, but I just looked and they are temporarily out of stock... due to, of all things, a Postal strike in Brazil, which is where the books are shipped from!

I do believe that Matthew has the book, and I think he said he's willing to pass it around, so I'll check with him about that.

Bino M. said...

Thanks Joel! Grace Walk has been showing that out of stock status for few months now! Well, let's see...

Leonard said...

Best.

Bino M. said...

Thanks the Leo-man! :)