Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Born Free?

About 60 miles north of my house there is a one square mile enclosure that contains about 100 Buffalo, a couple hundred Red Stag and some huge hogs. It is not a hunting compound because these animals can't get outside the fence but they are harvested for meat and skins. The fence is just 8' of common chain link that can be and has been cut or broken. I was there because occasionally some hogs would escape and provide a challenge for the local hunters. Hogs are smart and will disappear into the nearby riverbed very quickly...and they will not go back into the enclosure on their own. He really didn't try to get them back and I suspect he admired their will to be free and occasionally turned a few loose just to keep interest going at the ranch. More than one hog hunter has spotted a prime stag he had to have for his wall. I asked the rancher how he could ever get a 2,000 lb Buffalo back inside the enclosure if it got out. He said it was quite easy. Just turn out some common beef cows and the Buffalo would join the herd. Then just drive the entire herd back into the enclosure. The buffalo will follow just like the cows. Then I asked how he would catch the red stag....they are a lot like the elk that is indigenous to the area...He said that was even easier. Even if you leave the gate open, they will not leave the enclosure. The were BORN in the enclosure and have been there for 20 generations. They have NO CONCEPT of freedom and they are quite comfortable where they are. Everything is provided for them and until they reach maturity, there is nothing in the enclosure to harm them. It is nearly perfect as long as they are immature....

That reminds me of Paul's continuous admonitions to the early Christians. He kept telling them that they did not have to return to the old forms of religion now that they had a real living relationship with Christ. It was so real that NOT ONCE do any of the original disciples long for the good old days when Jesus walked among them. They found life and freedom in the Spirit to be BETTER than the life they had for the three years they had with Christ. He told them it would be like that and it was. We are all a lot like the critters in the compound. We were all born in bondage to sin that prevents us from being all God means for us to be. Are you like the smart hogs who try to escape to the perils of freedom, the Buffalo who follow the crowd or the Red Stag who don't even want to taste of the freedom on the other side of the fence? We were not born free, but we can live free.

1 comment:

Jodi said...

I think that this is one of the only times in my life that I can truly say I want to be like a hog :), living in freedom.