Yesterday, our family went with my Dad, my sister and her family to Fintastic in Charlotte. For those who've never been there, it's an amazing place to by fresh, pond, and salt water fish (including sharks) along with aquariums, coral, plants, and anything one would need for a fish tank.
As we walked along, looking in the different tanks, all of us were amazed by the variety of fish and how different and unique (as well as expensive) the fish were. There were a variety of colors and designs on the fish.
Of course, Benjamin wanted to buy a Clown Fish that he called "Nemo" and a blue tang fish that he called "Dory." Being a parent, I love Finding Nemo and would literally go to the ends of the earth for my child. Now that we are adopting, I see the film as a lovely representation of going to another country to bring a child home. It's funny, though, that a story about rescuing a fish from captivity has fueled people wanting to own that very type of fish.
Still, as I walked through this store, I couldn't help but think of Genesis 1:20-23, when it talks of God creating the teeming fish of the sea and every living thing that teems the waters. Some of this was right there in tanks around me for me to appreciate and, like God, think that it is good.
I have always loved fish tanks and can watch fish for an hour and not get bored. Back in graduate school, I had my own fish tank that I loved and, whenever stressed from my classes, I would just sit there and watch the fish to calm me down. It was no different walking around this store, which reminded me of walking around an art gallery. There is definitely artistry in the creation of all of these magnificent aquatic fish and coral (some of the coral are more beautiful than the fish). And, I must admit, I came out of that store wanting to have another aquarium.
Later in the day, just our family, went grocery shopping at Harris Teeter. Being a Sunday night, it was crowded with people. Each aisle was full of carts and shoppers. Now I am someone who doesn't care for crowds and tend to get claustrophobic in stores, especially during the busy holidays. But as I'm in this store and I begin to feel irritation and anxious, I stop and I look around. Then it hits me that this is no different than Fintastic. Once more God's amazing display of creation is right there before me. Each of the people in this store are unique and different from each other. No two are alike. Once more, the Creator's handiwork was there before me. Yet why do I so seldom see them that way?
When it came time to check out, as we stood there in one of the many long lines, I found myself not frustrated, but thankful. I was thankful that I worshiped a God who created all of this, in all of its amazing beauty and diversity. I couldn't help but think of Psalm 8:3-9:
"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!"