Friday, July 14, 2017

Pigpen Parables: Pigs Just Want to Have Fun


My son, Ryan, showed livestock in 4-H for years. His first show animal was a pig. The livestock advisor suggested we bring a ball for the pigs to play with. Truly, I doubted they would play with a ball and thought it was a silly suggestion. 

Ryan, however, loved the idea, so we bought a big ball. He threw it into the pigpen. In a few minutes, the pigs were flipping the ball with their snouts and tossing it into the air. I was truly surprised at how cute and funny they were.

When I got Andy, that memory came back to me. Yesterday, I gave Andy a big purple ball of his own. He was lying down in his little mud hole when I arrived. He quickly jumped up and ran over to see what I was doing. I tossed the ball into the stall. It landed in the middle of the mud. (Video below)

Andy started oinking like crazy and ran over to the ball. I don't know if he was excited about the new toy or upset about the mud, but he quickly started moving the ball around. If you watch the video, attached below, you can see him playing. It's mighty cute.

I watched Andy flipping the ball around, lying his piggy head on it like it was a pillow, and rolling it around the stall. As he played, he seemed less like a pig and more like a dog. He was so cute, so sweet. He seemed so innocent.

Andy's reality is he's a boar hog and he will never serve the purpose for which he was obtained unless he has a serious change. It's not his heart that needs to be removed; it's a different body part, but it's the part that determines his "nature." 

No matter how cute Andy is, no matter how sweet, he still has a nature problem. He smells like a pig. He acts like a pig. He hasn't been neutered and his boar-ness will taint the meat.

It's a great picture of the world and the sin nature that taints everything. The world can be an enticing place. People trapped in the pigpen of sin can be just as fun and enjoyable as the most devout Christian. When we, as disciples, were in the pigpen of sin, we had fun, too. 

The problem is that, fun or not, our sin nature permeates everything. Only a cutting away of that sin can change us. Only the blood of Jesus can accomplish it. 

Does the "cutting away" end the fun? Not at all. All the "fun" I had before Christ came with a price. It never quite satisfied. Jesus, however, is where all the contentment, all the peace we want can be found.

Jesus doesn't end the fun. He's where it begins. 

When Jesus said He came that we might have abundant life, He was talking about us, too. Are you enjoying the life God has given you? Do you take joy in the little things? If not, why not?  

Today, let's do a nature check. Is there a bit of our old sin nature still at work? Do we need to take a step closer to Christ and allow Him to trim away the "piggy-ness" so we can enjoy the abundant life He intended? If so, let's do it, and let the joy begin.



"The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing." Proverbs 10:28 
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