Hummingbirds, Crabs & Independence

hummingbird.gifI 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?

About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • http://barrensense.blogspot.com/ barrenmind

    Envious and prideful is the very nature of us all. It is often hard for us to see someone successful in their lives while we are suffering. We mostly think that if we can not go to the top, why would they?

    Nice to have you back!

  • http://swingingfromthevine.com Makeesha

    I’m glad you had a nice vacation that was indeed truly relaxing – so often, vacations are more exhausting than NOT going on vacation.

    I’m with you David. good post.

  • Fred

    Ever hear the story about the monkeys in the room with the banana on the string? Similar to the crabs in the trap. You would love it!

  • http://www.lyn.lifeshapedfaith.com lyn hallewell

    PEI – Anne of Green Gables, one of my favourite books when I was younger!
    Now back to your crabs! Great post David, I’m with you there.

  • http://livingliturgy.typepad.com Lewis

    Wow. David, you’re reading my mind. I completely agree.

    For me, the question now is how can I escape, so to speak? Also, how do I make sure I can lead others to freedom on my dedication to God to eat of what He offers?

    I think most people are with you, but we just don’t know how to get out.

  • http://myfaithdefined.blogspot.com Nate Peres

    Just walk away. It is that easy. All it takes is belief that God is leading you. Then follow God.

  • jean

    Just walk away……that makes me angry. Just believe…………that puts a heavy burden on me. Follow God………I don’t see Him. I am placed in the battle….the way is heart breaking now. I am free to be a fool for Christ.

  • http://anti-itchmeditation.blogspot.com jeff

    How does the first one get caught?

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    maybe it’s stupider

  • Peter

    Is “stupider” a word? (It is now…)

  • http://drummerchris.blogspot.com Drummer Chris

    Down south I’ve heard the same theory but it’s called the crawfish theory. The way I’ve heard it applied is to someone struggling to get out of an endless cycle of poverty just to be abused by his “people” for selling out. Then if they do make it out of the bucket you get the cries of “you have to give back to the neighborhood”. What, give back to the group that tried to hold me back?

    It makes as much sense as this whole emergent/traditional blogwar. We’re just a bunch of “mud bugs”. (That’s Louisiana talk there).

  • http://asbojesus.wordpress.com jonbirch

    “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?”

    yup! :-)


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