Because the fish tank sits here on my desk next to the computer….. I often find myself staring into the oceanic scene and finding truths about my daily life. Let me take you back for a moment: we used to have guppies. LOTS of guppies. We had the perfect conditions for guppy multiplication to the Nth degree. Seriously, we would go from 7 or 8 to 150 every year. We bought a plecostomus to clean up after all the guppies! Then VBS (vacation Bible school) would roll around and I would give them away in little bowls to all the happy kids (with parental permission, of course) until we were down to 7 or 8 again.
Then we changed churches and no more VBS to solve the guppy overpopulation explosions. Plan B was purchasing another type of fish that eats baby guppies soon after birth. This kept the population under control… until we went on vacation and the “other” fish started eating the 7 or 8 grown up guppies… until there were none left. Just the “other” fish and our plecostomus, the ugly bottom feeder that keeps the tank clean.
(photo from: thecoolshark.com)
As the circle of life continued in our tank, the beloved plecostomus breathed its last watery, gill-filled breath and lay still for all eternity with its eyes open on the pretty blue and hot pink rocks. He didn’t move a whole lot to start with, so we’re not sure when he actually died. We’re not sure it was a male either, but frankly, it was too ugly to be a female.
Anyway, now that the bottom feeder is gone, algae and debris are forming inside the tank. It looks like mold growing on the glass walls. It’s yucky. THEN the truth of the analogy smacked me between the eyes: I’M the plecostomus of the family! I’m the one who cleans up after everyone else. I’m the one who keep the house clean while everyone else dirties it up. I’m the one that stealthily goes around when no one sees, picking up trash and cleaning the walls and windows. Without me the house would be disgusting! I’M THE BOTTOM FEEDER!
But I’m a valuable bottom feeder, I might add! And so my day rolls on…. things to clean and pick up.