From the time I was in second grade until I left home for University in the U.S., we lived in the same house on the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS) campus. Perched on the foothills looking over the Mediterranean Sea, ABTS was an ideal backdrop for childhood adventures and I certainly had many.
The school’s chef’s children and I were always up to something! After homework and chores were done, we bolted out of our homes to play until we were called in for supper. My mom rang a bell while standing on our front balcony and we knew to come promptly! One of the many joys we shared as playmates was a love of animals. We had every kind of pet imaginable and were always eager to adopt more. Each time my friends’ dad’s bird dogs had puppies, or a neighbor’s cat had kittens, we begged to take on just one more pet.
While immersed in the spring-summer birthing season, we curiously watched how the new mamas herded their babies. The dogs would shove wayward puppies with their snouts, and the cats would gently clamp down on the scruff of an adventurous kitten to keep their offspring in line.
As a child, I personally didn’t do too much wayward behavior that needed corralling. But as I grew, I did my fair share of wayward, adventurous, mental exploration. With each foray into another philosophical tangent, I have been picked up by the proverbial scruff of my neck and gently ruffled to bring me into a new understanding.
Just as a mama cat picks up her kittens and guides them back home, so scripture picks me up to make sure that I know where I belong. Yet after each foray out from the fold of protected understanding, I find that I can step out and bravely think and do what I had previously felt I couldn’t.
It’s comforting to be herded by a nudge or a pick-me-up, conscientiously moved to a new place of understanding.
To what new place of understanding are you being moved?
He who loves correction loves knowledge; he who hates reproof is a mere brute.