Still Kicking!

In many zoos you might find signs that say something like, “Do not feed the animals!”  But, why?  It seems like such a good thing to give the animals (both caged and free-roaming) a bit of your hot-dog or hamburger?  The answer is simple – while the animals enjoy the ‘snacks’ given by visitors, they are generally unhealthy for animals, and more importantly, they build a dependency that might eventually harm the animals.

But, as humans, we might do better if we had a sign around our neck that read, “Do not feed the beast!”.   This sign would not be so much for other people, but as a constant reminder to ourselves, as we are often our own worst enemy.

Well, of course, it would be important to know exactly who the ‘beast’ is.  In this posting the ‘beast’ refers to those things that hinder us from following and fulfilling the plan of God for our lives.  It could be almost anything, and I won’t go into the details, as that would only detract from the core message.  Be assured, however, we all have a number of ‘beasts’ that yearn to be fed.

If we feed the beast, it grows larger.  And at some point, it may become so large as to completely consume its feeder.  The beast plays no favorites, and doesn’t care of your gender, age, nationality, or importance.  The fact is – the beast is harmful to our relationship with God.

So, can I ‘kill’ this beast?  Ah, wouldn’t that be a simple answer?  And so painless, but alas, no, it doesn’t work that way.  You cannot simply snap your fingers and your beasts flee, and never bother you again.  I know of only one way to master the beast – starving.

That’s right – you have to stop feeding it.  By, refusing to feed the beast you will ultimately gain the victory over it.  Continue feeding it, and it will master you.

But, there is a problem….

Typically, feeding the beast brings momentary pleasure.  Momentary, because the long-term effects of feeding the beast are tragic and hardly pleasurable.  On the other hand, starving the beast and refusing to feed it brings momentary discomfort, but long-term benefits and enjoyment.  But, since we live in an ‘instant gratification’ type of society starving the beast seems a less satisfying answer and hardly worth the momentary pain and suffering.

What happens if I try ‘starving’ the beast and fail?  You get up and try again.  As long as you are trying your attempts cannot be labeled as complete and utter failures.  Failure is only a reality when you stop trying.

In 2011 my wife was talking to my mother-in-law on the phone, as was her daily practice.  Shortly after this conversation my mother-in-law passed away.  My wife had one of the final conversations with my mother-in-law which went something like this:

Wife – “How are you doing?”

Mother-in-law: “Well, I’m still kicking!”

‘Still kicking’, and moments later in the arms of Jesus.  This is what it means to keep trying.  As long as you are ‘still kicking’ you are doing what you need to do to starve those beasts that keep you from doing the things you need to do.

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One Response to “Still Kicking!”

  1. beamcguire@gmail.com Says:

    Such a powerful Word here today! I loved this blog. So simple in illustration but so powerful in message! This will stick with me! Blessings….

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