Flying Fish, Party Straws, and 4 Essentials to Focus On

Flying Fish, Party Straws, and 4 Essentials to Focus On

After what I saw, it seemed best to stay quiet. I was two days out of a massive back surgery, and the morphine pump was primed to kill pain that made natural childbirth feel like a minor tummy ache.

My incredibly loving husband had taken two weeks off work to set up camp right by my bed under the third-story window of room 335. Spring storms pounded Dallas. The water drops dancing in the wind refracted the street lights like Fourth of July fireworks.

Then I saw it. Them.

Bathroom Bubbles . . . and Strolling Spiders

My husband had drifted off to sleep when I glanced over and saw something in the window . . . moving, or rather, softly floating. I stared and thought, raindrops drip, they don’t shimmer and float. They certainly don’t look like those little blue fish with sparkling party straws I see. Not wanting to wake my weary husband (or sound like a freak, really), I stayed quiet.

Two days passed. I took little sneak peeks out the window to see if my floating friends were still alive and well. They were. What’s more, they were growing in number. These long legged, skinny-looking, spider-like things floated along as if they were off to some summer swim fest.

I said nothing until the little nuts entered my hospital bathroom uninvited, walking impressively in single-file order on the grout lines like little preschoolers holding a rope on a field trip. I hate bugs. They terrify me. This was not okay. It was really not okay when I saw bubbles start floating up from the floor. I lost it and yelled for my husband.

Trying to sit with my feet suspended so as not to be eaten up, I told him to just look at the hordes of bugs and bubbles.

He looked . . . long pause.

His silence and tilted head spoke volumes.

“Um, Sweetie, the floor is clean and dry. I’m not sure what you’re seeing.”

“Not sure? They’re everywhere, Honey! Spiders, bubbles, look!”

Another long pause . . . then his tone softened like he was talking a skittish cat out of a tall tree.

“You’re gonna be okay,” he responded. “Let’s talk about it more when you’re back in bed.”

I Can See Clearly Now . . .

I would not make a good drug addict.

  • I hallucinate, get a little delusional and paranoid.
  • I’m allergic to everything, it seems.
  • I get rashy, itchy, and really cranky.

When we realized that the flying fish, party straws, spiders, and soap bubbles were the byproducts of drug allergies, I quit taking the culprit painkiller . . . and the fish and bubbles floated into never-never land.

The relief in my heart was wonderful in spite of the increased physical pain and spasms.

floating bubbles
(Photo: By Jeff Kubina. Bubbles. CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

A clear mind means everything to me. God’s Word tells us repeatedly to guard our minds with truth consistently. Why?

  • Because the mind directs what we believe—our choices, perspectives, behaviors.
  • The mind keeps our imaginations, affections, and passions in check.
  • Our character and integrity rest upon our mind-set.
  • Joy, peace, hope, perseverance, endurance, unity, love, grace, mercy, and so much more are cultivated on what we feed our minds.

You know how in the book of Judges everyone “did whatever seemed right in their own eyes” (Judges 17:6, emphasis added)? Didn’t work out too well: enemy occupations, wars, famine, abuse, murder.

God’s truth helps us to see life clearly, where we’d otherwise be seeing floating bubbles, spiders, and fishy straws.

Toning Our Thoughts on Biblical Truths

Here are four principles from God’s Word that will help us gain clarity in the mind.

  1. Establish your foundation on God’s Word, which leads to joy, peace, and life.
    The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart. (Psalm 19:8)
    Letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
    (Romans 8:6)
  2. Enrich your mind with truth, for steadfast strength.
    Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
  3. Encourage one another, to cultivate unity.
    Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. (Ephesians 4:29)
  4. Examine your heart consistently, which leads to integrity.
    Declare me innocent, O LORD,

    for I have acted with integrity;
    I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.
    Put me on trial, LORD, and cross-examine me.
    Test my motives and my heart. (Psalm 26:1–2)

Let Me Hear from You

Are you establishing in your mind the truth of God’s Word? Do you encourage others? Are you inviting the Lord to examine your soul? When we focus on what is right, it’s amazing how distractions begin to disappear . . . like blue fish and party straws. What are you going to choose to focus your mind on in the days ahead?

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