EVE & THE SNAKE
Ever since Eve engaged the snake in a conversation, I think, we have an inherent fear of snakes. Although I will not just kill a snake, I will not play with one. On the other hand, if I saw one, I would whip out my camera and take a lot of photos – from a safe distance.
When God asked Adam about what happened at the Tree, Adam said “It is THAT woman, you gave me!” Indeed. He tried to blame God! Then God asked Eve and she said: “It is the snake!” Putting the blame on the snake! And the poor snake? He did not have a leg to stand on!
The blaming game has never stopped since. We will blame anybody and anything, just so that we will not have to take responsibility!
IF YOU HAVE NOTHING TO SAY
Since I believe if I have nothing to say, I do not have to say it, I have been quiet. Yesterday I read this snake story and …
The story goes a snake slithered into a shed, looking for shelter against the winter. As he went in, he slithers over a saw. The teeth of the saw hurt him and the snake, thinking he must defend himself, lashed out and bit into the saw handle, breaking a tooth. Believing he is under serious attack, he started curling around the saw, trying to smother it with the pressure of his coils. The more the snake applied pressure, the harder the “reaction” from the saw. Eventually the snake was hurt so much that it died.
Food for thought and introspection.
THE SPARROW IN THE MIRROR
I have my own version of this story. A House Sparrow is a very territorial bird. For its size it is also aggressive. Years ago, I had one that kept on fighting with the sparrow in the side mirror of my bakkie. Not only did it fight the “intruder,” it also messed my bakkie and I had to clean the poop almost daily. Eventually I had enough and settled the battled.
The thing is, the Sparrow was fighting himself. Just like the snake, there was no real danger, only perceived danger. No objective enemy, only a very, very subjective enemy. An enemy conjured up by the imagination.
YET ANOTHER TAKE
I know somebody with a very interesting interpretation of Luke 6:42: “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye?” And I think he is right. He says the only reason one can see the speck, is because you know the plank so well. Because you know the plank so well, you can immediately, without magnifying glasses, recognize the speck! Makes me thought, when he told me that!
AND YET ANOTHER WAY
There is another way of saying this, coming from psychology(?). We react to what other people do because we recognize our own darkness. We are irritated by things other people do because they step into our own internal fights. I often must ask myself the question: “Why does that upset me so much?” Too often for comfort, it is the plank effect! I recognize the speck – the plank is too well known.
IS THERE A BALANCE?
As always, the cross I bear, I do not know where the balance is. Though I believe that we too often react to other people and situations from a perceived attack when there is no real threat, attack or malicious intend. I also think sometimes we have reason to be upset.
In other words, I do not think our reaction always just stems from our own “planks.” I am just not sure when it is justified and when not? Perhaps we need to ask to determine the intention? Perhaps we need to say we feel offended before we go off half cocked?
The message, though, is important. While killing itself because of a perceive attack, the snake might have warped the saw. While fighting with itself, the Sparrow killed itself. Reacting aggressively when there are no real threats can kill relationships, if not yourself. Surely it did a lot more damage to the snake and my Sparrow than to the saw or the mirror!
Could there be societal snakes? On a universal level I think there are a lot of snakes and sparrows! If we are not careful, it can take us back to the Dark Middle Ages. Unless we become less sensitive and first make sure that somebody is attacking us, have indeed malicious intend before we are offended. At the same time, perhaps we should become more sensitive. Whatever the case may be, we better sort this out, or we will be in serious trouble.
I am not sure we are going to stem the tide. I think there are too many people with a vested interest in division and aggression.
Then at least, on a personal level, do not be a snake or a sparrow!
And sometimes, we just must accept that some snakes and sparrows are not enlightened enough to understand these stories!
The question is, and it is the BIG Question, am I enlightened enough? Am I mature enough to face my own darkness? Am I mature enough to admit I am contributing to the problem – and to change?