Tea freezes at a temperature higher than 32 degrees Fahrenheit. At least, it seems to. I left a bottle of Snapple in my office refrigerator over the break. It was beneath the weird little “freezer compartment” but certainly not in it. It was at least an inch away from anything icy. And when I opened up the fridge, it was totally frozen. The lid had somehow detached itself to make room for the ice that had formed. (I wish I had video of that. Was it slow? Was it explosive? I digress.)
Wildlife photographer Kevin Ebi captured a series of photographs, one of which is included here, depicting an epic struggle between a bald eagle and a young red fox over a rabbit they both wanted for themselves. The eagle, obviously far more powerful, was determined to have the rabbit. But the fox would not give up. Ultimately, though, it had to; it let go and dropped about 20 feet to the ground below, emerging unharmed.
Imagine for a moment that you are the rabbit. God is the eagle. Satan is the fox. And don’t push the metaphor too far; God isn’t going to eat you for dinner, for instance. Just go with it.
The New King James Version includes “murders” among the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21. Most other versions leave it out; evidently the older documents tend not to include it. Regardless, I doubt anyone would have difficulty with the idea of murder being included among the acts brought on by a wanton, godless lifestyle.
We likely would be more comfortable if it were left out. A world characterized by “strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying,” — we could manage that. We all can relate to such things; most of us have at least dipped our toe into more than a few of them. And without such things, what would we find to watch on television?
Finding a dead armadillo on the side of the road is about like finding bad salsa in Florida — unfortunate, objectionable, but hardly worth extensive comment. However, the one I saw this week was (as far as I could tell at 40 miles per hour) unmarked. It just lay there on the shoulder of the road, four legs reaching to the sky.
This posture reveals the defensive shortcomings of this particular example of God’s creativity.
It is no wonder that a society that tells its citizens constantly that they are no better than the animals — indeed, no different from them — winds up seeing those same citizens act like animals. Why wouldn’t they? How could we reasonably expect anything else?
As Christians, we hope and expect humans to rise above the animal world. Animals can be trained, after all. Why not humans? But culture wins over holiness, time after time. And thus we see headline after headline, proclaiming in grotesque detail how degraded a culture bereft of God can become.
Enough judging a man in his 50s for an isolated incident, or even several of them, that may or may not have happened when he was a teenager.
Enough judging a woman for daring to have a smile on her face at some point in time when the most important thing in her life is her allegations of being assaulted.
Enough giving credence to everyone who supports our own preconceived values and principles. Enough dismissing and/or excoriating everyone who opposes them.