A Foolish Partridge in the Wrong Country

Unknown wind farm

The foolish partridge sits on eggs in a nest which does not belong to her – she labours to bring forth fruit that is not her own and so she is a fool.

Yesterday, I listened to Donald Trump on NPR tell the Scots how to manage their energy. He also threatened that if they pursue the clean energy source, they will “go bankrupt.”

Mr. Trump has decided to use his nearly unlimited resources to sue indefinitely the Scottish government to keep wind technology from going up near his new golf course. If he prevails, Mr. Trump will singlehandedly manage to upset an entire country’s pursuit of cleaner energy. Additionally he will tie up taxpayer monies for years while Scots attempt to push this foolish partridge out of its nest.

The heart is perverse above all things, and unsearchable, who can know it?

10 I am the Lord who search the heart and prove the reins: who give to every one according to his way, and according to the fruit of his devices.

11 As the partridge hath hatched eggs which she did not lay: so is he that hath gathered riches, and not by right: in the midst of his days he shall leave them, and in his latter end he shall be a fool. ( Jeremias 17: 9-11, DRA )

Leave Your Self and Run to That ( by Carley Evans )

Avalanche On Ozone

Avalanche On Ozone (Photo credit: DCZwick)

On NPR this morning, I heard a Pakistani official give instructions to soldiers defending a glacier. The instructions were how to avoid being killed in an avalanche. The man, in what we often describe as ‘broken’ English, said: “Leave your self and run to that.”

I laughed, thinking: “what a perfect description of salvation!” When we are saved, we are literally leaving our selves and running to Jesus, to be hidden under His wings.

In A Boxed World

Listening to NPR on my 45-minute commute to home, the story is about a young Hasidic Jew leaving his orthodox life to join the life of the broader world. This young man is presently in college, studying biology and yes — evolution, physics, psychology to name just a few of his interests. Early in his life, in virtual total isolation from the outside world, he happens to live nearby a public library. The first secular book he reads, he devours. The second is the dictionary. His eyes are abruptly opened to what, up until that very day, is closed off to him by others — his parents, his religious community, his teachers. The only books on his shelf at home are religious. He says to us — the radio audience — “it was glorious.”

Under religious tutelage, he decides to confess his interest in the outside world to one of his teachers. The man, who he respects, puts him in even greater isolation — keeping him from speaking to his classmates — so that he can not infect others with his secular ideas. Finally, unable to continue in his “double life,” the young Hasidic Jew leaves home. His family is devastated for he has “given up this world and the next” per his mother.

While I am listening, I am remembering my semester at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and several youth who seem — true, from the outside looking in — out of control. Never having been on their own, maybe never having been in a big city with movie theaters and bookstores and restaurants and shops and so many people, these young people are confronted by the sights and sounds of the broader world. No longer in a boxed world with all things under the control of others, they must confront temptations never faced before. Why some are more prepared to resist than others is a bit of a mystery to me since I am not one who is protected from the world; rather the world has been in my face since early childhood. And, by the “world” I don’t mean debauchery and evil-doings; rather I mean Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, Shakespeare, Van Gogh, Matise, Rembrandt, Degas, Einstein, Darwin, Freud, Poe, Hawthorne, Neruda, Roethke, Yeats, Byron, Plath, Hesse, etc.

The mind exposed to knowledge is also exposed to error, however, the unexposed mind must necessarily lack ability to effectively debate with opponents of truth.

“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, listening closely to wisdom and directing your heart to understanding; furthermore, if you call out to insight and lift your voice to understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it like hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding… For wisdom will enter your mind, and knowledge will delight your heart.” (Proverbs 2:1-6, 1o; HCSB)

O Lord, Send Me A Tropical Storm

This morning, on NPR, I heard a farmer from Alabama state emphatically, “We need a tropical storm to make a dent in this drought. If things continue like this, we’re in for a rough winter.”

I’ve never heard anyone ask God for a tropical storm. That, of course, doesn’t mean it never happens, but this wish seems counter-intuitive. Tropical storms often bring costly damage to coastlines, trees, buildings, and lives. Therefore when the farmer  on National Public Radio indicated Alabama needs a tropical storm this summer, I was momentarily taken aback.

Then, I remembered that what is good for me may not be good for my neighbor, and what is good for my neighbor may not be good for me. Judging good and evil for others is a task to be avoided. I wouldn’t want a tropical storm, wouldn’t wish one on my worst enemy — if I had an enemy, that is — or on my best friend. Unless, of course, that friend was praying, “Please God send a tropical storm across my dry, barren corn fields.”