The Medusa-Snail Story

Yesterday I reread an essay from a book by Lewis Thomas entitled “The Medusa and the Snail”, published in 1979. The medusa-snail story is an extraordinary tale of a mature jellyfish engulfing a tiny newly-hatched slug, only to be devoured bit by bit until the snail dominates. When a snail is small, the jellyfish will sometimes swallow it and draw it into its digestive tract. But the snail is protected by its shell and cannot be digested. The snail readily fastens itself to the inside of the jellyfish and begins to eat it, from the inside out. By the time the snail is fully grown, it has consumed the entire jelly fish.

Many of us are frequently like the jellyfish, and have our own snail that eats at us from the inside. Our snail may be pride, unforgiveness, anger, insecurity, depression, worry, greed or some other trait. Slowly it grows and begins to gnaw at us. Eventually we are consumed from the inside.

In Hebrews 12:1 we read, “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…”. If you truly desire to finish the race of life, and if you want to make it to the finish line, each of us must learn to continually let go of anything that may be holding us back. What kind of things am I referring to? The things that constantly gnaw at your insides. The things that cause you to be discouraged or depressed. The things that weigh you down and keep you awake nights.

Think of it this way: If you attach one light bulb to a battery, the battery will run for a long time. If you attach 100 light bulbs to a battery, it will go dim and dark very quickly.

Father, we do not want to be entangled in the things of this world or hindered in any way from serving you. May our hard shells of pride, unforgiveness or any other hindrances be softened by the love of Jesus. May we eat and digest freely the bread of life that only You provide.

Father we thank you that we may find rest as we respond to your word:  “Come to Me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” Help us to look to You for needed strength and an overcoming spirit as we daily encounter challenges and burdens in completing our race.Thank you that you recenter our focus on You so that we may serve others and serve you to your glory.

In Jesus Name,