Skip to main content

The Jungle Book

I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you abide in Me and I in you, you will bear great fruit. Without Me, you will accomplish nothing. Your abundant growth and your faithfulness as My followers will bring glory to the Father. (John 15:5,8 VOICE)

I had the opportunity to spend some time home with mom this week and on one particular afternoon which found her dozing peacefully, I turned on a movie thinking I'd drift off into a peaceful nap time, as well. It was the remake of Jungle Book and I had not yet seen it. Within minutes, although my eyes were drowsy and my mind was exhausted from having to deal with medical issues for mom, I found myself unable to doze. The story just captured my attention and there I was, desperately in need of some rest, but enthralled in the imagery and story before me. As you may know the story, the "man cub" was adopted by a pack of wolves. I am not sure how he developed all his ability to talk with the wolves, tigers, leopards, and birds, but he could. He lived among them and actually was viewed as "one of them" until one day a very old and scarred tiger named Shere Khan came upon the scene to challenge him. Shere Khan was old and bitter, having been left scarred by the burns he received while killing the father of this boy much earlier in the story. He was angry, manipulative, and vindictive - three very common traits of anyone who allows bitterness to take root.


As the story went on, the boy finds himself fleeing to save his life - at least that is what he thought he'd do by escaping the "nearness" to such a bitter and angry opponent. The trouble is that no matter how much we think we distance ourselves from bitter people, they have a way of finding us! They have some kind of "bitterness radar" that just helps them hone in on our location and they do so because they think they are going to destroy our lives through their bitterness. The real potential of them doing this is pretty minimal, though, because it is hard for one who is rooted well to produce the same fruit as one who has his or her roots deeply embedded in the soil of bitterness. It isn't so much that they cannot wreak havoc in our lives by their bitter shenanigans and hurtful deeds, it is that they cannot change where it is we find our rooting! That place of rooting is what will determine the fruit we bear even faced with the awfulness of the bitterness and anger around us.

In case you haven't seen or read The Jungle Book, I will not spoil the plot or give you the ending, but know this - it is a good story for all of us to consider for it speaks to several values we might do well to consider:

- Family is not so much determined by birth as much as it is determined by nurture. Those wolves nurtured the young boy, helping him to always remember the value of others - the power of the "pack", so to speak. The relationship he formed with those other members of the pack was so important - constantly remembering we were not to pursue our own devices, but be mindful of the needs and feelings of others around us.

- There is a place and time for new experiences. The young boy made new friends as he fled for his life, some which thought they could manipulate him to get him to do as they wished. Yet, in the end, they discovered they valued each other - not because of what they could "get" from one another, but because together they were better than when they stood alone. 

- The fruit we bear is directly related to the root we cultivate. There is no changing the fruit until we change the root! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean