I read a children’s story this week about a swan and a crane. The beautiful swan was floating around the pond very gracefully. And the crane was wading around the banks searching for snails. And then the crane asked the swan:
“Where do you come from?”
“I come from heaven!” replied the swan.
“And where is heaven?” asked the crane.
“Heaven!” said the swan, “You’ve never heard of heaven?” And the beautiful bird went on to describe how wonderful Heaven is. She told of streets of gold, and the pearly gates; the swan told the crane about the river of life, pure as crystal. In eloquent terms the swan described Heaven as the most wonderful place you could dream of.
And finally the crane asked: “Are there any snails there?”
“Snails!” repeated the swan; “Well in Heaven there’s no need for snails!”
So the crane concluded, “You can have your heaven then, I WANT SNAILS!” – as he continued his search for snails, along the slimy banks of the pond.
I think there are a lot of people today who are living like that crane. There are so many people that forfeit living in “God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will,” simply because they’re willing to settle for searching for “snails” in this world – searching for more money, a more fulfilling relationship, a better job, newer stuff, a fun hobby, or even a secret sin – just “snails” in the eyes of God, because He has so much more and better in store for us than that.
The truth of the matter, however, is that some people actually think that they’ll find the happiness, and peace, and fulfillment their searching for, if they can just get all the “snails” they can get – more of what this world has to offer. We need to understand, however, that if your number one priority in life is to get all the “snails” you can get, you’re in big trouble, and setting yourself up for great frustration and disappointment.
The “snails” of this world can never satisfy that hunger in our lives that only Jesus was meant to fill. That’s why God’s Word says in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” When we make the decision to seek after Christ and to be in right standing with Him, to the very best of our understanding and ability – He will supply all the needs and desires of our heart.
Some of you, even as you read these words, are realizing that you’ve been searching for and settling for “snails” in your life. You’ve been searching for meaning, joy, and peace in one thing after another and one relationship after another. Keep in mind that those “snails” will eventually make you weak and sick.
Today, I want to encourage you to stop searching for “snails,” and fix your eyes on Jesus! Open your Bible. Find a good Bible teaching Church, and we’re blessed with many great churches and pastors in our community. Invite Jesus to be the LORD of your life.
I think this great wisdom is summed up well in a song I heard a little girl singing years ago, it said, “Life without Jesus is like a donut – there’s a whole in the middle of your heart.”
The writer is the pastor of the Sidney First Church of the Nazarene.