I went on vacation this last week to Prince Edward Island. I had a great rest. The cottage we were staying in was very peaceful, on the Cardigan River. Splendid! There is a hummingbird feeder hanging on the deck and I sat out there for hours trying to get a shot like this one of the several hummingbirds that were literally warring over the feeder. None of the hummingbirds would let any of the other ones feed. As soon as one got close to the feeder, the others would dive-bomb it. It was a dangerous occupation to try to get a sip of the sweet nectar. They weren’t playing either. They could all eat, but none of them will let the other one.
At the same time I was reading a book that explained the interesting phenomena of crab-trapping. It seems that there is no logical reason why a crab cannot escape from the same hole it entered the trap by. But the problem is when the trap has other crabs in it, when one tries to escape, the others reach up and pull it back down. They all could escape, but the herd won’t let one of them escape.
I talk with several pastors. The same story: there is enormous and even violent pressure to not break away from the herd. There is unbelievable intimidation to not stretch your neck out and discover for yourself. Same with many church-goers and ex-church-goers I hear from: you are not allowed to eat your own food and you are not allowed to escape. In other words, for everyone involved… both “leaders” and “followers”, you are not allowed to grow and you are not allowed to be free. Our human world reflects the natural world. The kingdom of God indeed looks like the animal kingdom.
I’m going to eat. I’m going to let others eat. I’m going to be free and I’m going to allow others to be free. More than that: I’m going to feed and liberate others. How about you?