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Wildlife in extremis

Recently as I was driving, I saw a mouse running along the bridge on the side of the road a couple of feet from where my tires rolled by at 55 mph. He was running for all he was worth. I don’t know if he made it to the other side. Then yesterday I saw our dog Abby barking in the field. S…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Recently as I was driving, I saw a mouse running along the bridge on the side of the road a couple of feet from where my tires rolled by at 55 mph. He was running for all he was worth. I don’t know if he made it to the other side. Then yesterday I saw our dog Abby barking in the field. She had something cornered – a groundhog. She picked the groundhog up by the scruff of the neck and gave it a violent shake, but the groundhog got loose and escaped into the bushes. So it is when wildlife scrapes up against modern society.

All of us were made to be wild things. The part of us that wants to see the world and do great things was not meant to be tamed. But in this hum drum world, we do allow ourselves to be tamed. We dumb down our spirits, settling for the safe, well-traversed ruts of suburbia rather than listening to the music echoing quietly in the depths of our souls and following that inner muse.

We need to see reality for what it is. Not the stuff around us. Certainly not the status of our jobs, the furniture filling our home or even something as intangible as the opinion of people who don’t share our values.

We were made to be wild things, but we find ourselves running along the edge of a bridge with the noise of traffic all around us, or grabbed by the scruff of the neck and shook by life till we think we’re going to die. The way out is back to the wild. We are spiritual beings having a momentary physical interlude. We mustn’t mistake the physical world for reality or the sedentary, predictable life we’ve been told to live for our destiny. To do so is to capitulate to the evil one whose strategy is to corrode our souls and make us think that we were born to be tame.

Comments (3)

  • One of the best pieces you’ve written, Seth. The last three lines are as profound a description of ‘who we are’ as anything anyone could read anywhere.

    You know, it’s hard to imagine folks getting stoked to the soft back beat of a new Steppenwolf song entitled “Born to Be Tame.” Wouldn’t happen. Thanks for writing.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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