The park was 430 acres of wild in Grand Prairie, TX. Like all things Texas, this drive through park was over the top. Yes, they had your standard zebras, gnus and giraffes – but there were also elephants and even lions who stalked the place – even lion cubs in the petting zoo.
We had never been to such a place and we had a 7 and a 5-year-old that needed to be wowed – so off we went.
With buckets of feed and the windows cranked down, we drove through the Jurassic Parkish gate. We were in my old lumbering Chevy Impala (mindful that impalas were lion food back on the Savanna.)
The car was quickly surrounded by a mob of animals with the craziest being the longhorn steer that tried to stick the span of his enormous head into our car to get to the feed.
Then we encountered a lone rhinoceros. I was stunned to see the behemoth trot up to my car. I extended my wary hand and he clumsily swept the feed off and onto the ground.
He lowered his head and vacuumed the pellets from the ground and then raised it up again, or at least he tried. His horn got caught on the under carriage of my car. Oh boy! There was an upset Rhino attached to my automobile.
He tried to pull out – frantically jerking the car way up and then down as he did. I think the kids may have been screaming. OK I may have been screaming. Was he going to flip the car?
He finally pulled away and we were left with nothing more than a dent. (try explaining that to your insurance company?)
As in all of life, I try to glean wisdom from my experiences. What I learned was this, “I need to be careful about what I feed!”
Wait! This principle is way more practical than you may first think.
You see there is a part of me and you that is just as untamed and dangerous. The Bible calls it the “flesh.” The apostle Paul put it this way, “For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh.” – Romans 7:18
This beastly nature was put to death at the cross for those of us who have been saved. (Galatians 2:20) and yet, it still lurks – waiting to be revived. “For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the Spirit, and the Spirit has desires that are opposed to the flesh, for these are in opposition to each other, so that you cannot do what you want.” – Galatians 5:17
This beastly nature will be with us ‘til we are with Jesus. But it can’t rule us unless we feed it. Paul put it this way, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to arouse its desires.” – Romans 13:14. In other words, “Don’t feed the animal!”
I was in seminary about the time a movie was released which centered on Amish life. That sounded safe – right? I wanted to do a date night with my wife to see it – but I needed to vet the movie first.
A friend had seen it and rated it 5 stars. I asked about objectionable material. He said – “Clean as a whistle – oh except one scene where the starlet was naked from the waist up.”
Well I tried to rationalize the information away ‘cause I really wanted to see that movie. But the Spirit of God began to needle me. He reminded me about the beast.
At the time I was laboring to learn Hebrew. It seemed that whatever I learned on Monday was gone by Tuesday. And yet if I were to see that movie, I knew that the image of the bare-chested woman would be forever imprinted on my mind. I didn’t need it – so I threw the movie tickets away.
There are just some places I don’t go because the beast is fed there. There are some people I don’t hang with because the things they say and do, provoke me to do the same. I’m very careful about what I read because it sparks the imagination of the beast. I thoroughly review any movies or TV beforehand because I don’t want to awaken the beast.
One Rhino ride was more than enough for me. I really do need to be careful about what I feed!
A PRAYER: “May my words and my thoughts be acceptable in your sight.” (Psalm 19:14)
Scripture references are from the NETBible ®