Tuesday, November 19, 2013

All is Not Right

Two children were observing an enclosed field at their local zoo. Zebras, giraffes, and a few varieties of antelope grazed throughout the field. So too, you could spot a flamingo and a few other rare African birds making their way around the enclosure.

"Something's not right," said nine year old, Joshua, to his sister, Julie, age 14.

"What do you mean, Josh?"

"Well, I feel like this whole zoo thing is just one big fake."

"Huh? What are you talking about?"

"Julie, seriously, have you ever seen Africa on TV?"

"Yeah, so what?"

"Well, on those shows, the giraffe, zebra, antelope and other animals are always being chased and attacked by the lions. This isn't real. Those animals out there look more like fancy fenced in cows than anything else."

Julie, raised her eyebrows in older sister fashion, "Yes, Joshua, this isn't real. It's a zoo. The lions have their own cages. Those other animals would be sitting ducks if the lions were let in here."

"True, but at least they'd go out with a fight. A world without real danger is a fake world."

"Ok, Joshua...the next thing you're going to tell me is that it's good for animals to slaughter each other."

"I'm not talking about slaughter; I'm talking about life. Is it worth spending your whole life in a cage, when you are giving up everything it really means to be an animal?"

"Alright, Dr. Doolittle, what does it mean to be an animal?"

"Julie, you just don't get it, do you? All is not right because these zookeepers are creating a false world for the amusement of us. We think we're seeing wild giraffes and zebras. What we're actually seeing is a pathetic form of the real thing.  All that is real, wild, and vibrant died the moment the barriers were put up."

"Joshua, it's a zoo; what did you expect?"

"What did I expect? Good question. I guess I'm seeing the unexpected."

"Huh?"

"I wanted to see and understand the wide and wild world. But I see now that once man-made cages are put up, the wide and wild world is lost. These man-made systems to keep us safe, happy, and content from the wild animals, end up creating a charade."

"A charade huh; you're nine, do you even know what you are talking about?"

"Yes, Julie, I do. Part of being an animal is living in light of fear. Mice fear cats. Antelope fear lions. And if you can bear it, humans are to fear God. Having an appropriate understanding of what is proper to fear, gives us the impetus to live wisely. Once the fears are caged up, we cease to live as we were meant to live."

"I don't think that zebra is complaining that the lions are on the other side of steal bars. He seems to like the free grass and warm sunshine."

"That's the whole problem, Julie. Humans and animals that are satisfied by their stomachs all because the fears are caged up, are just eating their way through a meaningless existence. What's the purpose of eating if all that you are living for is to eat tomorrow? What's the purpose of eating if all you get to look forward to are more cages tomorrow?"

"What if they like the cages?"

"That's what I fear the most, Julie. And unfortunately, we too have taken the cages far too often. We're afraid to leave the cage and live under appropriate fears. We've chosen the "safe" at the cost of what is real. Heck, many animals in captivity die months and years before the average life of animals in the wild. Once the animal loses the will to survive and a proper Fear to fear, it's only time when their soul will die."

"Are you talking about animals or humans?"

"Julie, I'm talking about both. Proper fear is the beginning of knowledge, life, and purpose. The charade of the cage will only last so long. Eventually, we all find out the truth in the end. There are things more Wild, Fearsome, and Powerful than our steal cages can ever keep out."

"A cage is better than death," Julie retorted.

"Death comes cage or no cage. But I'm talking about life. And life only happens when we break out of the cage and subject ourselves to those wild fears worth fearing."

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