Tao of the Jelly

I Recently went on a trip with the school I work for. One of the places we stopped at was the Tennessee Aquarium. It was really an amazing experience seeing things that I would never be able to see in the wild. But it was difficult to truely enjoy the experience. I found myself looking calm and collected on the outside, but on the inside feeling overwhelmed by my mind. I had one thing after another racing through my mind. Things to do, projects that needed completing, hurtful words that had been said to me, all sorts of thoughts. Most of which I could do little about in that moment. So I just walked and took pictures. But it wasn’t until I reached the Jellyfish that I really got a picture of my life.

I was transfixed by these creatures. I began reading the signs educating me about how the Jellyfish is a fascinating creature. Jellyfish are invertebrates (have no back bone) who live together in a community (a Smack). It only has one opening, through which it eats & poops. While they can be very colorful creatures, a lot of them are nearly transparent. They can live deep within the ocean or right along the coastlines. And finally, propel itself by sucking in water & then squirting it back out… but when it comes down to it, the Jellyfish depends on the currents of the ocean to move it from place to place.

There, in front of the jellyfish, in the peaceful music and the mood-lighting of the aquarium, I realized I had been trying desperately to propel myself. My own plans were failing. It was almost as if I was just rising and falling but not really going anywhere. Like I was out of the current, or maybe the current had slowed to the point where I didn’t feel like anything was being accomplished. So I just stared at the Jellyfish. They looked so peaceful. So confident that they were being Jellyfish, and that was enough for them.

In the Bible, Matthew 6:34 (MSG) to be exact, Jesus is talking to the disciples about the real issues in life. He’s reminding them that God is the one in control and that no matter how we plot and scheme, ultimately we have very little control of the big things in life. But one thing is for certain, if we “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” This thought came to me as I was staring at the Jellyfish. And then the peace came. I realized that no matter what happened in my life, God was in control. My job was to just ride the current.

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