BEWARE OF THE SHARK

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I could be a shark if I wanted to, we all could…   I am speaking of a fictional JAWS-like shark who smells blood and comes in for the kill – HOWEVER I know that sharks get a bad rap and they ARE one of God’s creatures and there are too many bad myths of them for movie purposes.

But for the sake of this reflection on life, I am going to write about a shark that we could idealize as us as people who go after things – who are cunning and shrewd – and perhaps could “go off the deep end” if we didn’t have SELF CONTROL. 

I have a coffee mug sticker that states the Fruits of the Spirit – and the last one on this sticker is SELF CONTROL.  I just added my “Beware of the Shark” sticker to the bottom of that. Me NOT being a shark is better than me being a shark, have self-control. Me being aware of others being sharks is also important – don’t get pulled into a bad scene when you weren’t the one who spilled the blood.

We need to tap into and appreciate the HUGE influences of the Fruit of the Spirit, meaning actions that we get FROM GOD’S SPIRIT in us.

There are some like love and joy which are such a benefit to us and to others thru us. Self control has to be one of the most used “on and off” switches that we need to stop turning off.

Self control means reducing our “I told you so” tendencies. Self control means less “coming in for the kill” by a shark who senses blood. Self control means just swimming away. Self control means counting our blessings and not pinching pennies while stepping over dollars in our nickel and diming of life. Being generous – being graceful – showing mercy – these are all the benefits of self-control of our anger or self-righteousness. FORGIVENESS.

There is an aspect of being a shark which is not bad – of our fictional attacking shark because sharks need to eat too – of when we are motivated to seek opportunities, when we are not shy in reaching to achieve something or take action for someone who is in need of our advocacy, when we advocate for ourselves. Being strong and powerful IS a gift. Being the “disruptor” is the new term for mixing it up and challenging old status quo living – and yet I would add the classic line: “it is easier to attract X, Y, Z with honey than vinegar.” – We should all be more honey than vinegar… love over lashing out… I would remind us (me too) that a shark at least circles the scene and swims around the situation for a while before coming in for the feeding frenzy. Self control and love is powerful even when and especially when it is quietly standing in the presence of God. LOVE IS the MOST powerful force in the world.  For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 

There is much power in not using power or advantages for self-fulfilling ego – yet sometimes it seems you do need to be the storm over the calm waves. My new earrings (a $5 present to myself) came on a card that states:  “Never have I been a blue calm sea, I’ve always been a storm.” – I really liked thinking that for only a moment of that invigorating powerful message about myself – for the “go-getter” attitude and the drive. For making a difference in my life and in others lives for good…  Sure, I could use that once in a while for an ego-raising self esteem boost (which is why I bought those earrings as a treat and not necessarily just as retail-therapy). And yet, isn’t leading a stormy life also dangerous to self? And isn’t God MUCH stronger than we can ever think to be? Calming seas are just as powerful as a water-driving force and  the calming force of self-control, gifted by God, meaning we can be riding the waves that He stirs up for us rather than being a clanging gong ourselves. If we are a wave headed to the shore, it would better be for a good purpose…  We can be the storm – however I pray that we always bring needed rain to a situation as opposed to just flashy thunder and lightning…  I know that just like the sound of gentle rain on a room, we could appreciate the POWERFUL sound of a waterfall that calms us – just like God calms us because He IS so POWERFUL and IN CONTROL. He provides the LOVE we add to a situation: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1

My new-to-me blue Subaru (“feel the love”) has a cool “shark fin” antenna for the radio and aerodynamics. I like to think of my blue subaru as the whale – the whale that Jonah had a ride in – but much friendlier and happy to go place to place, wherever God needs me (and the roomy, functional, all wheel drive whale).  Jonah had to go and tell people about God’s plans but Jonah didn’t want to go. I would hope that myself and we all try to embrace that attitude of “HERE I AM LORD, SEND ME”. Put some shark fin into our “whale of a ride”. Get going for God. 

Self Control: take the high road, don’t sweat the small stuff, be available to let others witness our pause instead of our pursuit. Walk away. Count Your Blessings. BE STILL.

Beware of the Shark in yourself – yes of course beware of all sharks – but especially beware of our tendency to forget how God has given us these gifts to use for HIS glory – not ours.  Be His and be BLESSED!

Amen!!!

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