Friday, August 12, 2016

The Dead-Chicken Lesson

When I went in the chicken coop to feed and gather the eggs, I noticed a big black lump in the corner. On closer inspection, I found it was my black chicken, or what was left of her. 

I didn't do an autopsy, but I did do a "limited external exam". That's doctor-speak for "I turned her over and took a closer look." There was no evidence of trauma. She'd died of natural causes (aka old age).

I gathered the eggs, took care of the carcass, and went back to the house. 

As I headed down the gravel path, I reflected on how much life has changed around here. A few years ago, Sam would've "taken care of the carcass" and told me about it later. 

This time, I was the one who told Sam the sad news. "I wonder why she died. It didn't look like anything hurt her," I said.

Sam slowly shook his head. "Well, they's death all around us with those people doing so much killing. Even chickens is subject to death."

"The ISIS people?"

"Yeah. They're killing people every day. Somebody needs to do something about them."

I, too, have concerns about the terrorism of ISIS, but I wasn't quite sure how they had anything to do with my chicken's death.

The conversation veered away from the chicken and back to ISIS. Sam had been thinking a lot about them. "You know we been killing people since we got started. First Cain killed his brother and it went down hill from there."

"Why do you think that is, Sam?"

"We won't do right." 

It was a simple, yet profound assessment. As Sam went on to say, God gave Adam and Eve a lot of freedom. There were two trees they couldn't eat from, and everything else was fair game. 

Only two simple rules. 

It should've been easy to obey, but they didn't.

Later, God gave ten rules, but we wouldn't obey them.

Jesus made two simple laws the foundation on which all His other commands would rest. Love God. Love your neighbor. So far, we haven't obeyed those too well, either.

We are sinners who won't do right, but, by the power of the redemption purchased by Christ on the cross, and the presence of the Holy Spirit at work in us, we could do better, if we were willing. 

As Sam said, there's death all around us because there's sin all in us. It doesn't have to be this way. God has a better plan for His people, if we will only obey.

Today, let's invite God to cleanse us with the blood of Jesus, fill us with His Holy Spirit, and transform us by His great power. We can live as those who've been redeemed, but only if we're willing to let Him get the sin out of us. 

Today is the day. Now is the time. 

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1 
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Thoughts on Training and the Digital World

Here's the link to the world-wide prayer guide: The Prayer List
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