Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Modern Parable

This parable was inspired by the Anna's Hummingbird that entertains me when I sit at my kitchen table. The Anna's Hummingbirds no longer fly south for the winter but stay in south western BC year round, so I leave my patio hummingbird feeders up all year.

A Parable
Once upon a time there was a hummingbird named Anna who was content to winter over in her summer home rather than migrate to the south, the age honoured tradition still followed by many of her kin. She had learned that there were certain 'flowers' that yielded unending nectar, making the long yearly trek unnecessary.

On one particularly warm winter day she flew farther afield than she was in the habit of doing and found herself on the edges of the southern regions.   She encountered one of her kin, known by the name of  Rufus, who eyed her rather shrewdly.  "You arrived just NOW ?"
Anna hardly glanced at him. "No, no.. I wasn't intending to come south for the winter. I will be flying back to the north were I have been spending the winter months."
Now, Rufus, was baffled. "But why would you do that ! You will starve !"
"Starve?" exclaimed Anna.  "Why would I starve. Food is plentiful!"
Rufus decided Anna was delusional since he knew without doubt that flowers all die in winter climates cutting off all nectar supply.
   Rufus tried another angle. "But.. but...  then you will freeze!"
"Ach, you are but dumb!"  scolded Anna.  "Do you not know anything?  Have you not heard of torpor?"
"Torpor?" repeated Rufus mystified. "What in the world is torpor?"
Anna sighed impatiently.  "It is what I do when the nights are cold.  I go into a hibernating state, thereby lowering my heart rate and slow down my metabolism  .. and I rest quite comfortably until I reverse the process at dawn."
"You are crazy, "  scoffed Rufus in disbelief. "I never heard of anything like that. I don't believe you!"
And he flew away leaving Anna shaking her head at the self-deluded bird who could not accept other than his own experience!

Yes, of course my little story is silly ... but isn't it easier to see ourselves in the ridiculous?   How often are we prone to only  believe our own experiences?   We filter the outside world in through our own grid and sometimes deny the truth simply because we have not experienced it.
Call it closed minded, call it narrow minded, call it wearing blinders --   but those are terms that apply only  to others, never to ourselves, yet too often we are more governed by our own view,  the opinion of the masses,or what feeds our comfort zone than we are by our unbiased thoughtful consideration of all available information or wisdom.

We must determine what/who our ultimate source of reliable 'truth' is, to discern what our final belief rests on.
If it is 'self' -- what feels good to me, what makes sense in my own mind -- we are trusting ourselves to a very insecure 'anchor'   -- not unlike a climber trusting that a rope will secure him on his climb up a rock cliff when the rope is loosely fastened  to a twig at the cliff's top edge..
If it is the masses --  we all have seen the shifting sand of public opinion.   What holds their attention and passion one day is quickly forgotten the next day or moved to the opposite view point.
If it is the 'wisdom' of science --  anyone studying science (so called) can see the evolution of ever changing 'facts and conclusions'  as new evidence emerges to invalidate the previously held theories.
If it is personal experience -- you are limiting yourself to a very narrow source of 'input'.  No one person can experience all of life or all of life's situations or complexities.

There is, of course, only One Source of all Truth,  that is God and His revealed Word, the scriptures.   But even when we give mental ascent to holding that opinion,   we are still so often 'caught' unawares being influenced by a world view or popular opinion, or take the easy path of following without questioning the teaching/leading of a man.   Unless we are on guard, we will be confused or misled more often than we would care to admit.

I have been wondering more and more recently --  What if we REALLY believed the things Jesus said  - those words in red in most of our bibles - and made them our final word on how we conducted our life , our spoken words, thoughts and actions.    I have been struck lately that in determining a course of action or a conclusion Jesus' words are often not even considered.  Strange, isn't it? when He is the One that  holds all things together,  is our Creator, Saviour and Judge....  and in the end ONLY His words will matter.

"Jesus... asked His disciples, saying.'Who do men say that I, the Son of Man am?' 
So they said, 'Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.' 
He said to them...'But who do YOU say that I am?"    Matt.16:13-16 

If our answer is the same as Peter's response, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!"  how does it show in how we live according to His words?  Are we truly His disciples? In training to be like Him?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Julie, this really spoke to me. I wonder why we resist His words so much, when life would be easier for us in the long scheme of things if we trusted that He has our good in mind. In my devotional time I've been trying to be more conscious of what the scriptures are really saying and letting them speak to me.
God bless you! ~~Elaine