When Luke was just a little guy and we had just moved into the house in which we now live, we had Kim Harms’ brother, Keith, paint an ocean mural on Luke’s new bedroom wall. He did a fantastic job making it realistic—even including a sunken ship for good measure. He also painted fish—lots of them—swimming around in the depths. Some of these fish were so detailed and colorful that you had the sensation of snorkeling while drifting off to sleep. I know this since I fell asleep many a night there, while trying to get Luke to sleep. All parents can relate to this.
While Luke was not a boy of great emotion, he did seem pleased when Keith was finished, and told everyone of his ocean-themed room. Soon , though, probably within a week, Luke started having trouble going to sleep at night (obviously,I had no trouble) and we were puzzled. First, we thought it might be the transition to the new house. Then we thought that he was worried about his soon-to-be-born baby brother. But finally, one night, as I was talking to him at bedtime, he blurted out, “I don’t like that yellow fish”. As I looked from his vantage point, the yellow fish, which had seemed innocuous to me, did seem to have its beady little eyes trained on the red bunk bed. Luke didn’t like this fish watching him when he was sleeping…or when he was lying awake in bed. He wished the fish would swim away and leave him alone. But, because of the nature of flat, painted fish, we knew this wasn’t going to happen. And we also knew that Luke would have no peace until this problem was solved. And so we came up with the paper system. It’s simple, really. I took a piece of white printer paper, attached a piece of tape, and conveniently covered up the fish. Luke wanted the fish covered at all times so he knew he was not being watched. Although this white paper looked a little out of place in the ocean, we soon had our peaceful sleeping boy back.
After a lengthy time of fish-covering, I decided to remove the yellowed paper and see what happened. And Luke was OK with it…or at least he never spoke of it again. Maybe he was too busy being scared of Ursula from The Little Mermaid by this time (he had a few ocean phobias as a boy—probably because he slept in an ocean).
Isn’t it kind of like that with us even now? Sometimes, we walk around in our lives living only for ourselves, and our families, and our stuff. And then we have the sudden remembrance that “God is watching”. And we feel the need to clean up our thoughts or our actions or give something to the poor. But sometimes, this sudden remembrance is an intrusion to our comfy worlds and we resent it—the fact that He is always watching—and we try to cover the reality of his omnipresence with silly things like television or sports or social activities. We try to ignore the fact that He is watching us by pretending it really isn’t true—no one really saw me do that…or think that…or judge that. But guess what folks? He is watching you and you will give an account to Him one day. Trying to ignore His voice in your life is like putting paper over a painted fish.
So, listen up, straighten up, make the most of your days and the most of the opportunities He gives.
Sometimes His voice “thunders like mighty ocean waves” (Rev 1:15).
He wants to make much of you.
Give Him something to beam about.
The eyes of the Lord are everywhere,
keeping watch on the wicked and the good.