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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Laying Aside Weights – Goodbye to Chicken Little


See previous posts in this series.

Hebrews 12:1-2  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

One weight that we can become weighed down with these days is worry about all the dreadful things that “could” happen or “are going to” happen or “are” happening.  This kind of thinking and worry can be a serious hindrance to running the race with patience.

I suppose many people have heard the fable of Chicken Little, how the acorn hit her on the head and she thought the sky was falling and set off to tell the king.  Of course, she met Henny Penny and explained to her about the sky falling and hitting her on the head and Henny Penny joined her in going to tell the king.  Along the way they told Ducky Lucky and Goosey Loosey and Turkey Lurky who all joined the crusade to go and tell the king that the sky was falling.  But, then they met their natural enemy Foxy Loxy.  Because they were so intent on the fact that the sky was falling, they told him about it too and then foolishly allowed him to join their program.  According to the book my family had the end of the story was that “Foxy Loxy walked with Turkey Lurky.  Foxy Loxy ate Turkey Lurky.  Foxy Loxy walked with Goosey Loosey.  Foxy Loxy ate Goosey Loosey.”  Right down to Chicken Little they were all devoured by Foxy Loxy.  And, the king never knew the sky was falling.

The world today is literally bursting with Chicken Littles who have very important messages to us that the sky is falling.  The internet is teeming with such sources.  Because there are certainly many unhappy, evil and worrisome things in this world, it’s easy to get sucked into the panic and dismay that these people peddle.  Whether it’s predictions of coming troubles, the pollution of food and environment, “chemtrails”, HARP, weather annomilies or any of the many other “impending dooms”, there is bound to be someone who is informing the world that the sky really is in fact in the very act of falling.

First of all, regarding the “big, bad” things, if there is nothing we can do about the scenario or claim (no matter what it is), then it really isn’t worth wasting our time and worry over!  Really.  If you can’t change it or fix it or avoid it, what’s the point of getting all frazzled and stressed over it?  Now I admit that a falling acorn might be a pretty big deal to the Chicken Littles, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us need to panic along with them.

Secondly, we need to remember that just because a Chicken Little has “proof” and was an “eyewitness” himself or knows “eyewitnesses”, doesn’t mean that he (or she) knows what he’s talking about!  Oh, there are many claims made by the Chicken Littles.  They will press us with all kinds of “good reasons” to believe them, often resorting to mockery if we refuse.  But, those things ultimately prove nothing.  The truth may be very far from the terrible interpretations they claim – as far as an acorn is from the sky.

Thirdly, too many of the calamities that are declared to be coming or already upon us are really only acorns.  This is especially true when they are compared with some of the more real issues at stake, such as the selfishness and lack of holiness in the Lord’s church and the lost souls that are dying without Christ.

Some things we may find a small way to avoid, such as buying foods that are less likely to contain bizarre and dangerous things.  But, even with that there are limits.  Unless you have the time and strength to grow virtually all of your own food, you can’t get entirely away from it in many parts of this world.  So, what is the point in fretting?  As my Gramma used to say, “You can only do so much and then you just have to trust the Lord.”  She didn’t mean that we shouldn’t trust the Lord right from the first, but rather that in certain situation there is a limit to our ability to “fix it”, and so we simply have to commit ourselves to God and go forward in His will because He is faithful.  As long as He has work for us to do He will take care of us, even when we can’t avoid “dangerous” situations. 

1 Peter 4:19  Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

It is true that “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.”  Proverbs 22:3  There are some things that we can or should hide from, as it were.  But, we can’t avoid all evil without leaving this world!  [1 Corinthians 5:9-10  I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.]  Added to that, when we foresee an “evil” and hide ourselves we really need to make sure it’s a real evil!  And, we have to acknowledge that some things we are not going to be able to avoid.

Paul wrote of his experiences as an apostle,  …in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 2 Corinthians 11:23-27  Yet, even though we know Paul was cast down at times and disappointed, we also know that he was not a Chicken Little and he didn’t spend his life trying to avoid these situations.  Instead, he warned the saints of the most important perils in this life – the spiritual dangers.

Paul wrote, But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 

The trials of our life allow us to make the life of the Lord Jesus manifest to those around us.  If we could avoid all trials and tribulations then would we not be hiding the power of Jesus Christ?  It seems like we might make that conclusion from what is written.

When we allow ourselves to become weighed down with the threats of the sky falling we forget the words of our Lord Jesus when He said, “…Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”  Matthew 6:34  Most of us have enough to deal with today in our own lives without borrowing a lot of conspiracies and threats that may happen tomorrow.  Even things that are supposed to happen “today” according to the Chicken Littles may not ever happen, or may not affect us if they do.  Often they don’t. 

Wait, read that again.  Often they don’t

I don’t know how many times in my life I have worried about this or that happening – either my own acorn or one handed me by someone else – and after all my worry and distress and expectation, it did NOT happen.  Strangely enough, the unhappy things that did happen seldom were the things I’d anticipated, prepared for and stressed over.  Unless it’s something obvious like death, which we can’t avoid anyway unless the Lord comes first, it very often isn’t what we expected.  

More than this, though, is the very real danger that accompanies following Chicken Little – not the sky falling, but being devoured.  As you will recall from the story, all the other birds joined the parade to tell the king the sky was falling, and they were all so distracted with their terror and drama that they allowed their natural enemy to join them.

The scripture tells us, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” 1 Peter 5:6-9 

I find it very interesting that casting all our care upon Him comes right before the admonition to be sober and vigilant because the devil is seeking to devour.  When we are carrying around our cares instead of giving them to the Lord as He told us to we will be too distracted to be vigilant and we will be too weighed down and encumbered to resist stedfast in the faith! “Foxy Loxy” may not devour us physically as he did Chicken Little and her friends, but he (the devil) can devour our strength, our peace, our health, our time and our resources when we are worrying about the sky falling instead of watching unto prayer.  1 Peter 4:7  But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

Ultimately, a fate worse than the sky falling came to the birds in the fable.  Being eaten by their natural enemy was a lot worse than getting hit on the head by bit of falling sky.  We also may find ourselves in a situation far worse than the imagined one we became preoccupied with when we failed to watch for the adversary.

Also, referring back to 1 Peter 5:8 and 4:7, it says to be sober.  One thing that tends to come with the the Chicken Little crowd is a lot of “unsober” thinking, and by that I mean irrational.  If the sky was truly falling don’t you think someone besides Chicken Little would have noticed?  And, why didn’t any of them ask to see the piece of sky that had fallen (which would have been an acorn in reality)?  Also, it seems like they should have been observing other “pieces” of the sky falling as they set out on their journey to tell the King.  They didn’t stop to think.  Sadly, this is the way we tend to be when we take up with some Chicken Little’s story.

What we need to do is learn to ignore the Chicken Littles of life.  We need to turn off the news and talk shows, avoid the web sites, not listen to the preachers and politicians, and avoid the people who generally are peddling “falling sky” scenarios.  They are handing out weights that we don’t need to carry.  Our King, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the only one who can stop the sky from falling in any situation!  We need to cast all our care on Him and then get busy with the real things of life, the things that we can do something about.

Psalms 55:22-23  Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.  But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee.

Psalms 115:3  But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

3 comments:

  1. Very good advice! When I'm overly worried about something my husband sometimes reminds me that "When you see 10 tires rolling toward you, usually 9 of them will get in the ditch before they reach you!" Same thing with our worries!

    God bless you!

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    1. I'm glad you were edified by this. Thanks for commenting. :-)
      The Lord bless you too.

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  2. Marilyn's husband quoted a man who had a lot of troubles coming at him-- Harry Truman. I do not believe we ever had a President more cool headed and unruffled than Harry. He had to decide whether to recognize Israel in 1948 when ALL his advisers said not to. H

    e had to decide whether to drop the first atomic bomb. His choice is estimated to have saved between 2 and 3 million lives by shortening WW II. But, he DID wait for his trouble to run into the ditch, and he often laughed at trouble when he could tell is was just another acorn.

    ReplyDelete