Hemo had been a house fish in a large aquarium of an important, politically-connected, ultra-conservative member of the Patrick Henry Society. Hemo’s home had been in the study of the big shot’s home, and the political, constant feed of conservative ideas on the large screen TV across the room was in Hemo’s sight all the time.
Hemo became interested in the conservative politics, especially the boycotts, protest marches and the petition signing to force big industry to change their policies and conform to the thinking of the ultra conservatives that had Hemo’s big shot boss in charge. Hemo even fixed his own signs and fixed a pole between his shoulder and main fin to support the sign and swim all over the big aquarium shouting out against Target for their bathroom policies and Wal-Mart for donating to the Black Lives Matter. The other fishes in the aquarium thought that there was something fishy about Hemo. But he swam on.
Hemo just marked his fellow fish in the big aquarium off as “Pinkos”, Liberal Progressives that could not read or write, or Communist Sympathizers. As such, he just ignored them. The reruns, conservative infomercials late at night were best, and Hemo stayed up late to get them all in and the information written down in his note-keeping book.
One evening the boss brought in a lot of fellow ultra conservatives, and they had a late-night meeting on some tricks they were going to pull on a progressive man running for Congress; Hemo did not miss a word and got it all down in his notebook.
Hemo had stayed up so late that he missed breakfast when the cleaning lady came the next morning. Today was the day to clean and refill the big aquarium. The cleaning lady found it was easier to transfer the fish from the big aquarium to the holding tank by catching them while they were feeding. Hemo slept through the whole event and did not wake up until he heard the water whirling around, going down the drain into the toilet and then there was the flushing sounds and Hemo was on his way to the sewer.
Hemo kept looking around for an escape, the pipes kept getting larger. And at last there was a big water fall and a gigantic splash. Hemo was spitting and sputtering in the brinish and dirty water.
Hemo thought, “This is yucky, not to my liking at all; I need to do something about this,” and he swam on into some large pods of seaweed and he was nearly hung up in the ocean garbage; “This is horrible, we need to clean this place up.”
The current took Hemo out to sea to cleaner water and where the other fishes were. Hemo gave them a shout.
Hey, school, where is the neighborhood organizer?”
All the fishies just looked at each other in bewilderment.
Hemo continued, “Like—who do we call to get the water in this tank changed and the tank cleaned out; this is putrid.”
Again all the fishies just looked around and shook their heads at Hemo thinking, “Who is this weirdo?”
Hemo decided on the “one on one” plan of communication with these dumb bunnies. So, he swam up to a large sunfish and spoke:
“Who is in charge here? We need to get a move on in changing some things around here. We need to get this tank changed, cleansed and some fresh water. This is the dirtiest I have ever seen things.”
The Sunfish just shook his heads and said, “No one is in charge. We just kind of do our own thing and leave each other alone.”
Hemo snapped too, “That is the problem: no one is in charge and there is total apathy and lack of leadership and concern. I’ll take over; I have political training, and I know how to get things done.” Hemo swam off.
“I NEED A PLAN OF ACTION,” Hemo thought, so he swam over to the “Everything is One Clam” store and bought some cardboard for signs and some permanent markers and sticks to make some hold-able signs. With the signs made, he called a meeting of all the fish and gave a great oratory on becoming a school of conservative fish, and taking over their community. He promised A new environment and some drastic improvement in their living conditions. The next day all the fish were picketing with signs. “Hemo for community organizer and clean water for everyone.” At the end of the Day, Hemo was elected leader.
Hemo went back to the “Everything is One Clam” store and more sign stuff, and the next day the fishies were swimming everywhere in the ocean with signs demanding clean water. After three days of carrying the signs seeking clean water the big Sunfish asked Hemo, “Who is supposed to give us clean water?”
Hemo asked, “Don’t you have a care giver? Someone to clean up this mess? Where I come from a lady comes every Friday and we get all new water. We need to find out who is in charge and get them on the ball.”
Sunfish thought for a few minutes and said, “Well, if anyone would know, it would be the big killer Barracuda that lives in the coral reefs off shore a little farther.”
“Thanks,” Hemo said, “I will go pay him a visit tomorrow,” and Hemo swam home.
That evening Hemo gathered the votes of the shoreline fish showing he was the duly elected leader of the shoreline school of fish. He put together his portfolio of conservative credentials, and just in case he threw in his Boy Scout Tenderfoot badge. Hemo never advanced any farther in scouts; he did not like the refreshments the night he was advanced to Tenderfoot, so he never went back.
Hemo rose early. He knew he would need a good breakfast. He was told the coral reefs were about a four hours hard swim over the underwater canyon, through the sea weed jungle and onto the sandy underwater plains with the beautiful orange, yellow, pearly corals that was home to millions of sea life. Hemo had barracuda’s address and he had memorized the directions.
After breakfast Hemo put all his paperwork in his briefcase and strapped it over his neck and started his swim west. For the first hour the water was murky and then the sandy bottom dropped sharply down and Hemo realized he was swimming over a great underwater canyon. As he swam west the water became less murky and suddenly there were millions of sea weed plants growing up from the bottom of the ocean. It was tricky swimming but Hemo had practice in the aquarium at home; the owner liked lots of things growing up from the bottom of the tank. Suddenly, it was clear ahead and there as far as he could see to the right and to the left were beautiful coral reefs and millions of all kinds of fish and sea life that Hemo had never seen before.
Hemo was glad he had memorized the directions, for in his gaggling everything like a tourist, he missed a couple of turns and finally was at Barracuda’s door.
He rang the bell and Barracuda’s housekeeper came to the door and invited Hemo in and found he did not have an appointment, so she showed him to the waiting room.
Two hours later Barracuda came in to find what Hemo wanted. Hemo laid out his case to redo the ocean’s environment to the astounded Barracuda. When done he put down his papers and smiled expectantly.
Barracuda said, “I don’t know where you are from, but this ocean is free range, unencumbered environment and the closest thing we have to a ruler is King Neptune and he is thousands of miles away and he takes his orders from the underworld ruler of the world. You, my friend, are out of your environment and you are an alien in a foreign world. You have no authority here. So scram.
It was a hard swim home. On the way, suddenly, Hemo realized he had no authority in this environment and the best he could do was go home and make converts out of the sunfish.
In the 1980’s as Sales Manager of Golden Imports in Beaumont, I read a business management hand book by Peter Drucker. He was mainly a business consultant and writer for national business magazines. His constant theme was, “Stick to your ‘knitting’.” He is referring to an old grandma’s saying, “Stick to your business, to the things that you know, to what you have purposed to do.” This is great advice for the church.
God the Father has always been a cosmic God, and was and is concerned about the whole world; however, in about 2150 BC God narrowed his plan to choosing a couple of pagans from a very pagan and secular city, as they all were. Since Satan was in control of the whole world, God’s plans for this couple was to convert them, redirect them and through them to make a great nation and out of that nation to bring forth one Son that would be a blessing to the whole world. It worked and millenniums down the road in Bethlehem that blessing was born to the virgin Mary and her promised husband to be, Joseph the carpenter.
Now there was a family argument on the human side: how God will accomplish this promised blessing. Man’s plans are most often faulty and are passed on for generations. The vast majority of the family wanted this worldwide blessing to come in 33 years with the reigning Messiah of Isaiah 9:6,7 and kick out the sinful Jewish leaders and destroy the oppressive Romans and become the reigning Messiah on David’s throne in Jerusalem. But God had a problem: for thousands of years everyone’s sins had only been covered up, not forgiven. So, if the reigning messiah came in 33 AD, he would have no kingdom. God, and John the Baptizer, that great prophet according to Jesus knew that the Suffering Messiah of Isaiah 53 had to come first so John when he saw Jesus coming to be baptized said, “BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD WHO TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD.” So, the Suffering Messiah had to deal with the sin nature and become the ONE man that paid for all sin with his blood, and brought righteousness with his resurrection. Problem one solved! He covered sins from Adam and Eve to present, now forgiven. All sins of those that received that grace with faith, full active and complete faith in the future, would be forgiven as well.
God’s number two problem: He wanted billions to be in that reigning kingdom, and at best he had a million or so at this point. So, God’s plan was the Great Commission so that in the Gentile age Billions would come to faith in Jesus the Messiah/Christ.
Here was the plan, God would move his Hebrew Apostles and Disciples out of their nearly 2200-year safe environment where the laws, religion and family customs protected their beliefs and lifestyle and send them helter-skelter into the secular, alien, Satan-controlled environment, a world that was not home, was not safe and was not comfortable, and they were to make disciples out of Satan’s secularists and baptize them in the holy trinity, then teach them to observe all that Jesus taught. In that world of hostile environment Jesus allowed us to create safe houses from which to operate; we call them churches. These are not monasteries in which to dwell. They are launching points to go forward to convert the enemy soldiers. What God is crying out to us in the 21st century, “Stick to your knitting, convert the enemy soldiers and leave the changing and controlling the environment to ME!” Jesus in Romans 12 is saying, I am best at handling same sex marriage in the secular world; you teach my program in yours. I am best at protecting you in the bathrooms; be smart and regulate your lifestyle to keep from putting yourself in danger.
Your job is to train your converts in my teachings, not legislate my teaching to and for the secular world that could care less. I am best at handling the secular society; you are sent to steal the secular soldiers, convert them, teach them and make partners and coworkers of them— STICK TO YOUR KNITTING!