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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Meek Lion

I can remember when I was a senior in high school a friend of mine and I were bored, so, as a lark, we decided to go to the zoo. Actually, it turned out to be fun.

While we were in the zoo we were cutting up as boys of that age can do so well; however, at the lion's cage we learned our lesson. The lion exhibit was interesting in that the cage was made of normal bars surrounded by a strong wire screen with small holes. Obviously, the exhibit was designed so that a person could get as close as possible to the lions but not be able to touch them.

When we arrived at the cage, we saw that a huge male lion was lying awake next to the screen in the cage. He was a beautiful lion; his huge mane seemed to reflect the sunlight.

Being the goofy guys that we were, we decided to try to agitate the lion, hoping to make him roar. So we proceeded to stick our ugly faces as close to the lion as we could, taunting him with statements every lion dreads to hear. Glaring accusations such as "...oh come on, you're not really the king of the jungle" and "...if you're really the king of the jungle, why don't you roar?"

Well, that bored old lion just lay there on his side, skeptically looking at us through one eye. But we kept on agitating him until finally he looked up at us with an expression which said, if I understood non-verbal (lion) communication correctly, "I guess you guys aren't going to leave me alone unless I roar for you, so let's get it over with."

With that, the lion calmly stood up, put his face on the screen of the cage directly in front of our faces, and in a voice, which I could have sworn broke the sound barrier, thundered:

I tell you what, I was so stunned, I grabbed my friend, and he grabbed me (and he was a big lineman too), and we backed away from that cage as fast as we could. We were in shock. That lion's roar was so loud we literally felt its vibrations.

What's funny is that immediately after the lion roared, he calmly lay down again and went back to looking like he was bored. What we witnessed that day was power under control!

When Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek…” in the Sermon on the Mount, one the ways the word “meek” was used was to describe a lion or tiger, caged, or tied to a stake by a strong rope. In those days, if one walked around the area where a Roman circus had set up camp and saw a lion or a tiger tied to a stake, he or she may have very well described the animal as being meek. In other words, the animal's power was harnessed; it was under the control of something greater.

The Bible calls for Christians to submit their energy, gifts, and personal power to the control of the Holy Spirit. To do so is to practice meekness. So, let’s go out and make it a “meek” day.

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