Hearing the voice of my mother to close the pen of the hens, I immediately went to close the doors. The rooster was not inside as usual and was perched on top of the tree. It was its habit to fly down from the tree and enter the door but that night it was very dark and could not see where it was. So I closed the door and went to sleep. We woke to the cries of the rooster in the middle of the night. We saw the stray dog trying to catch the rooster. Even though we tried to scare the dog away we did not succeed. As I shared this childhood incident with my son, I realized that we have a lot to learn from this incident.
What would have been the thought running in the mind of the rooster that night. It would have thought, ‘I am too big to be shut away and I am big enough to protect myself and I am safe sitting on branch high upon the tree.’ But it did not realize that it had no vision in the night and the dog had good vision in the night. The rooster was not equipped to fight the enemy’s attack in the night and was not ready to obey the people who, recognizing this threat was ready to protect it. It only had to stay inside only during the night and was free to roam about freely during the day and the result was very tragic.
The story of our soul is no different. We are often caught unawares from the threat and dangers that lurks in the night. The minute we learn a bit or do a bit of goodness we claim to know everything and we believe we are above temptations and sins. We are not aware of our own weakness and only God our creator knows this. God uses circumstances and people to guide and discipline us. It could be our parents, friends, siblings or our neighbors or superiors. When we get old it could be our grandchildren. Whatever may our age or circumstance be, we need someone to discipline us. The bitter experiences we get from them and the trials the trials we face guide us to God. Today we have everything in abundance. We have a choice of our food, latest mobiles and Televisions to watch what we want, latest vehicles to travel anywhere and there are places to celebrate everywhere. We have everything that money has to offer. We are in the process of liking our way of life that very soon it will be difficult to give up even a small material thing the world has to offer.
People in the olden days did not find it difficult to fast unlike the people of today who have the choicest of food available at their fingertips. We struggle to give up this delicious food even for one meal. It is the same case with our sinful ways. We get so entangled in the pleasures of sins that we do not have the courage to step away from that life. Anything in excess is dangerous; be it happiness or freedom. When we are disciplined and go through struggles we will be able to manage the freedom prudently. When a person lives a wayward life he will not be happy and will constantly be looking for something new to keep him happy.
When we live our lives as per our will we do not see the hand of God trying to discipline us through people and circumstances. Joseph spending time in the prison was part of the design of God to prepare him for what was to come in the future. It would have been very easy for God to bring the people out of Egypt. But he made them slaves and then a long journey through the desert, the Ten Commandments all these were God’s way of preparing them to Canaan the chosen land. When Jesus was a child they fled to Egypt and this curtailed their freedom. Even though he was the son of God, for 30 years he lived under the control of human beings. When we are denied our freedom, when we go through struggles and when we are not able to get our way, let us remember that God is preparing us for holiness. So let us not reject the discipline of God and let us not resent his rebuke. “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in” (Proverbs 3:11-12).
Dear friends let’s look back at all our trials and temptations to the guiding hands of God. The disciplining is as per the will of God and it is His way of leading us to a life of holiness. Let us strive to walk towards the dream Jesus has for us.