Friday, October 06, 2006

Of Lambs and Human Nature

When I was 8 or 9 a relative gave my sister and I each a pet lamb. I chose a white faced lamb with a long tail and my sister chose a black faced one.

We kept them in the barn during the day and when I got home from school it was my job to stake them out on the lawn to graze. This helped to ensure that first, the yard was mowed and that second, the yard was fertilized.

They loved to graze on the green grass. When I would lead then from the barn to the front lawn they would quite literally drag me as I held onto their collars.

Once we had crossed the barnyard and had reached the green grass of the lawn they would come to a dead stop, lower their heads and start munching. I would then have to pull them with all my strength to the place they were supposed to graze that evening.

Now these were not underfed animals. They were fat, greedy lambs that just wanted more food.

One minute stubbornly pulling me and the next minute having to be pulled stubbornly.

Both actions driven by a base instinct to eat (consume) as much as possible.

Instinct.

It has always been intriguing to me that humans were created in the image of God – and yet - when we “revert” we end up going in the opposite direction one would expect of something created in the image of God.

Faced with a difficult choice, a work related stress, a moral dilemma, or a significant sacrifice – we sometimes revert to our base human instinct of survival and grab all that we can while we can.

Here’s the intriguing part – why don’t we revert to the image of God?

Is it just the nature of created beings to revert to survival instincts?

Or were we so damaged by sin’s entrance into the world that we no longer have the capacity to naturally revert to the image of God without significant training and self awareness?

Why are we so like the animals?

I don’t have a neat paragraph to answer these questions or even sum this up. However, I do think it is related to Paul of Tarsus’ statement, “…for when I am weak then I am strong.”

More later.

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