Don’t you love it when there is a specific memory attached to a location? I have many, but there is one that came to my early this morning.
We were living in Salinas, California around the time I was six or seven years old. At the end of our front yard there were these generous sized river rocks used in our landscaping. (To this day they remind me of the rocks Fred Flintstone used to build his house in Bedrock.)
One day I was out playing with these rocks when I saw a snail.
Now, I knew the shell on his back was his home, but I went on a personal crusade to build him a better home. So, I took the rocks, built him a spacious one bedroom home then picked him up and placed him inside.
When I came back to check on him later, to my young surprise, the snail had moved out. I decided that he must have left because he didn’t have any neighbors. So, I built a snail neighborhood and placed more snails into their brand new homes. I even put grass in each one as a housewarming gift.
When I came back later, all the rocky houses I had made were vacant. I didn’t give up. Day after day, I rebuilt homes, picked up snails and moved them in. The end result was the same – empty houses.
This morning, as I was coming home from my walk, I saw a snail that looked like all those from my childhood. I sat down next to him and took his photo.
All these years later, seeing this snail brought me right back to my young self. The child who tried to make life better for one of God’s creatures.
Here’s a little secret . . . I still try to make life better for God’s creatures. I try to make life a little better for everyone I meet – to sometimes move them into “new houses.” However, the majority of people, much like the snails, don’t stay in the places I would like them to. They move to the place they feel they need to be or stay where they are.
Who am I to say they shouldn’t? He is God and I am not.
But I will always try to “build houses” because that’s me living as an example of Christ. However, I need to remember the WHY, just as I did as a child:
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people (Eph. 6:7)