Otherwise, I am enjoying my new fish tank. Fish seem like such insignificant pets, but they are tiny bits of nature who hold you captive by the spark of life within them. Nothing is ever truly insignificant when it changes your focus. What may seem meaningless to others, may add meaning to your life. So, aside from the fish I already put in the tank: Anastasia & Sir Galahad (the pink & blue parrot fish,) Saphira (the fire mouth,) Jabberwocky (the Jaguar,) and John Caesar (the Black Convict); I now have five Tiger Fish and two Silver Hatchets. I discovered through research that the Tiger Fish can actually be identified as male by the layer of red on the dorsal fin and the red nose. So, it turns out all of mine but the smallest are male. I named them Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, and Barbara Ann, respectively. I just knew that would be the appropriate thing to do. LOL.
As to the Silver Hatchets, since they are so thin and transparent, and since they love to float above all the rest of the fish at the surface of the aquarium world, I gave them archangel names: Gabriel & Raphael. Gabriel is the larger of the two. The names seem appropriate to me, if you know anything about the angels in history. Only two "good" angels' names were recorded in the Bible: Gabriel and Michael. Of those two, we see Gabriel performing as a messenger most. And, it is he that is credited historically to be the one who will blow the trumpet one day. Though all angels are messengers, which is the meaning of the word angelos, Gabriel seems to be a direct harbinger of good tidings from God. I like that. We all need a little good tidings, don't we?
There are two other angels not mentioned in the 66 books of the Bible, but they are found in the apocryphal books of the Bible, Ariel and Raphael. Oral Jewish tradition carried the names down, even though they weren't recorded per se in Scripture. Ariel is mentioned in Isaiah 29:1-7, and is used metaphorically for Israel or Jerusalem, who is to be punished by God for the fall of the nation. But the angel Ariel is said to be a demi-urge type angel of the earth, creation, and healing. But, he was a fallen angel. Raphael is an angel of healing as well, though unfallen. God Himself is known by the title Jehovah-Rapha, which refers to His healing power. Rapha is the Hebrew word for healing. So, with the names Gabriel and Raphael, I have a harbinger of good tidings and healing. Those are definitely good names for such pretty fish.
Why does all this matter? It doesn't within the fish tank. It is in the world outside the tank, and inside my head that it matters. The Bible says, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8 I like to think about angels coming with healing in their wings, and about Messengers from God with Good news. For, it is God after all who gives us richly all things to enjoy 1 Timothy 6:17; not angels.
For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 2 Corinthians 5:4-7
I have chopped this little selection out of a larger discussion on mortality and immortality, flesh and Spirit man. You see, whatever it is that ails you in the flesh, in my case my health problems, may cause you to wish to be "dressed" or clothed differently. Right now we are all dressed up in flesh, or mortality. We don't long so much to have this mortality taken off, so much as to have our new Spiritual bodies spring out of these earthly shells into new life, immortal and limitless. It is life we are wanting, not death.
If you watched the movie Avatar, you see the same idea. The protagonist is handicapped, and through the avatar he puts on a new body in a virtual world and is able to run and really live again. So you see, we love nature for the life that is in it. We love living animals because they have life within them. The natural world is bits of life all around us, messengers of the life that is within us, and that Spirit of life is our greatest gift.