Surviving in the wild

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Last week, while watching sesame street, my four year old asked me what a zoo was. As I tried to explain, I was a little saddened by the fact that we did not live close enough to a zoo to go and visit. The closest zoo to us is like 2.5 hours away. She continued to ask questions like why do animals live in the zoo, why do people catch animals and put them in cages, etc. At one point,
I must have really struck a nerve, because she asked why would God put animals in jail?

Half laughing, half sad, I told her that God does not put animals in jail, that people put animals in jail, I mean zoo, and God intends for animals to live in their natural habitat where God gave them gifts and talents to survive, and that it’s wrong to put animals in cages, but ok for zoos to put animals in cages, and well…. which only lead to more questions. It was just one of those times where you try and explain something that in a four year old’s eyes just doesn’t add up to what we have been teaching her the entire four years of her life…. So yeah, we don’t put animals in cages, but we can go see animals at the zoo… in. cages.? *cue dad, anytime here!*



I thought about her questions alot over the week. I remembered how several years back, I got to take my son to the zoo in Chicago, and I rememberd seeing the Lions and Tigers, and alligators with just a thin layer of glass or skinny little fence between us. It was amazing to see how big they actually were, and I remembered thinking on the catastrophic damage those animals could do if they were not in their cage. Then I learned from one of the keepers that once they are in captivity for a certain period of time, wild animals loose their ability to survive in the wild. The movie Madagascar reminds me of what this handler said every time I watch it.

So there we were, staring at these huge wild animals knowing that they had lost their ability to do what God had intended them to do. There was no question that they could have shred me to pieces, but in the wild… they had lost their ability to survive in the wild because of their captivity.

I can’t help but think that as a Christian, I have become like these caged animals. Full of powerful potential, but lacking ability to survive in the real world. Is being a Christian a destination or a starting point? Are we surviving day to day and focusing inward on our own ability to get our laundry done, our dishes, to make sure our children have clean teeth and rooms and plates and forgetting to focus from time to time on the outside world in which we are training our children to interact?

Are we acting like domesticated lions and tigers… who have lost their potential to survive in the wild? When the outside world interacts with us, do they walk away unimpressed and unchanged, or can they see the potential power that they could have by having a relationship with Christ? Following Christ should be risky, eventful, meaningful – and instead I have made it mundane and meaningless, will my children be able to survive in the wild based on what I am teaching them? I’m sure that as moms, we worry too much over a clean house, dishes, soccer practices, shedules, dinner, and running the everyday that we forget to let it go sometimes and be a little risky for Christ. Myprayer is that I will begin living an uncommon life, to embrace God’s willinstead of trying to create my own way. I want to stop worrying about laundry and dishes and cleaning and organzing and being perfect. I want to beundomesticated.



and wild. (well – wild-er, anyway) How aboutyou? Will you make your life a little more wild for Christ? What are you going to do to teach your children to survive in the wild?

These are the things I’m going to do:

*instead of reading a book to my 2 year old and four year old at bedtime, we will read a bible verse and a bible story.
*I am going to start a prayer journal, for my kids, and today after church, we are going to write down the things that we want to pray about, and keep adding to it as the week goes. We can then take the journal and pray for those things before bed.
*I am going to be intentional about saying a prayer at bed with my eleven year old.
These are things we do not do pretty regularly. I want for my children to know that they can pray at anytime, not just before eating. I’m starting there… were are you going to start?

Are you ready for a change?

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