musings on worship and christian living

To Tame A Dragon
December 4, 2008, 8:06 pm
Filed under: Life, Random Musings, Uncategorized

So it’s been a long while since I sat down to blog.  I’ve had some things to say, but the were not thoughts designed for the bulk reader so I kept them to myself.  For those of you who like my thoughts I apologize for taking so long to spit something out, although I’m not feeling very poetic at the moment so this may not be one of my best posts.  For those of you who don’t like my thoughts I hope you enjoyed my little mental vacation.  

Just a side note: my spell check on my blog says the word “blog” is misspelled.  What’s up with that?

I was out visiting my parents a week ago and my mom handed me something I have always loved very much.  A book.  Not just any book, but a book from my childhood that inspired imagination and consumed the mind with adventure.  It is called “Tales of the Kingdom” by David and Karen Mains and it is, in my humble opinion, brilliant.  

One of my favorite chapters in the book is “Princess Amanda and the Dragon”.  Undoubtably one of the key reasons I have  such fond memories of this chapter is due to the art work, the hero princess battle axe in hand bravely taking on the monstrous dragon.  But setting aside the picture and an amazing story comes to life.

I wish I could post the whole story here, but it’s too long.  So instead I will recount it using direct quotes that are too good to leave out in quotations.  

The story goes that every year in the Great Park dragons would lay their eggs in the sand by the lake.  In the spring the eggs would hatch and the dragons would fly away.  Kids would hunt for the remaining eggs and turn them in to the Caretaker for proper handling.  However, in this year Princess Amanda kept her eggs.

“Perhaps she thought that they were old and shriveled inside.  Perhaps she forgot.  But she did not take them to Caretaker’s cottage.  Instead she hid the eggs.  She hid them in My Very Own Place, which was so far from Stonegate Entrance that few strangers walked to it.”

Later one of those dragon eggs hatched.  When it did Amanda’s first instinct was to take it to Caretaker.  But when she looked at the dragon it shed a tear.  “Though she knew it was forbidden, she kept the hatchling for a pet.  Just for a little while, she thought.  Perhaps I can tame it.”

So she fed the dragon and played with it throughout the summer.  All was great until she discovered that the dragon hated to be left alone.  “Since the princess dared not bring it to Inmost Circle – and even feared for its life should it be discovered – she began to stay away from the Great Celebrations”.  As she spent more time with her dragon she began to get angry at the law against keeping dragons.

Before long the dragon begins breathing fire.  She still allows it to stay in My Very Own Place, but the insides of the tree (My Very Own Place is the inside of a tree by the way) become dark and burnt and she is constantly avoiding the dangerous parts of the dragon, it’s mouth and tail.  Not only that, but the dragon is also now ignoring her commands and thinking for itself.  As her dragon grew so did Amanda’s distaste for those she was around.  She began to hate the people that she once loved and had forgotten how to laugh.  

The dragon ends up turning on her and lighting the Great Park on fire.  Caretaker arrives and she begs for him to kill the dragon.  He responds by telling her, “I cannot kill this dragon.  Only the one who loves a forbidden thing can do the slaying.  You will always hate me if I do it.  Only you can slay this dragon.”  She slays the dragon with Caretakers axe, but the fires have already been set in the Great Park.

I love this story because it gives such a vivid picture of not only the effect of sin on our lives but it calls attention to our interaction with it.  I can’t tell you how often I have left sermons or talks with people having heard the sentiment that we are “victims to sin”, unable to do anything to prevent its appearance in our lives.  The reality is the most damaging sins in our lives we bring in of our own accord.  We lie to ourselves about the dangerous nature of our new pet, we keep it nestled away in “My Very Own Place” so that no one will question why we are nurturing it.  

Soon it rules our lives, we loose our joy and our patience with things that are good, it steals our time and we walk away from fellowship with those we once loved because we are now uncomfortable.  Then the inevitable happens, and that sin that we fostered has a mind of its own and it is impossible to contain.  And the destruction it creates effects not only us, but everyone around us.

I see so many Christians these days that dance with things of this world.  I know at times I have been one of them.  We dance merrily along and minimize the danger of what we do because we are so enjoying ourselves.  I have spent time with Christians from all over and am saddened that so many act no different from the world.  In fact, to be IN the world has become the battle cry for a borderline lifestyle that is nothing if not in vogue.  We rally behind 1 Corinthians 10:23 “Everything is permissible” and use it to cover our marginal behavior.  And my fear is that we are fostering dragons that will one day rise up and burn not only ourselves but the Church.  

Now I would not then suggest that we become pious for piety sake.  I am personally stuck in a place where neither the ultra permissive life of some many young Christians or the movement of excessive piety seems correct.  I have good friends who are both, and although I love them I can’t seem to jump on board with either philosophy.  

So I guess the moral of the story is, if you dance with the world be careful because you could be fostering a dragon that will not only grow to hurt you but those around you.  But equal to that threat are those that hold piety about relationship with God, for that piety is itself a dragon to be feared.  Instead seek to please the heart of God, and to value the life of others before ourselves.  Keep reading 1 Corinthians to know the true heart of God is not enjoyment without consequence, but the good of those around us.  

1 Corinthians 10:24,”Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.”

Matthew 6:33, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness…”