It happened to them just like the proverb:
‘…A dog returns to his own vomit…The sow that was washed returns to her wallowing in the mire…’ 2 Peter 2:22.
Our dog Wesley is forever betrayed by a poor sensitive stomach. Feed him anything but chicken and you’ll pay for it. Trouble is he doesn’t learn. As soon as it’s up and out he will be following after the grand-kiddies again to see if they drop a tasty morsel. Sometimes they do not get chance to drop it, so much as he will thieve it from their grasp. And the cycle repeats. If he pays we pay ‘cos guess who has to clean it up. He gets cleaned out on the inside but I have to clear up the mess outside. I am doing my utmost to spare you the gruesome detail (honest, phew)
But what is my experience with the other species I hear you say. Well funny you should ask. A dear friend of mine is called Pumba. Pumba (or Pumbi to her friends) is a Vietnamese pot bellied house pig. A micro pig as a pet, ohh err except no one told her that. She was still growing circa 360 kilos to my reckoning but I’d never say so in front of a lady, I’d certainly not dare mention specific poundage. An elephant never forgets? Well neither will a pig so always be nice and remember your manners. Oh yes, manners. Manners!! Pumbi knew how to push the fridge away from the wall, to break any padlocks. No fridge handle nor lock nor chain was her equal. From some posts I am led to believe some Black country fridges are suffering a similar fate during lockdown !
And yes, Pumbi loved to be hosed down clean but she loved wallowing in mud right after. No soon was she clean and brushed up, than off and happy as a pig in muck.
You know it’s not just Pumbi’s fridge antics that remind me of myself. Nor her waistline. So often I find that no sooner am I cleaned up by the Lord, (yes it’s the God botherer bit – it is Dave after all)...oh where was I? Oh yes, that no sooner am I cleaned up by the Lord then I seem to find mud or it finds me as if from nowhere. Or like Wesley. Though I prevail to get cleaned up on the inside then I see the very thing that messed me up and … oh you get the picture.
I hear so many people are taking stock. Some have more time to invest in positive thought and change. Some are still incredibly busy but indelibly grateful for the blessings they no longer take for granted. You can hear the “but”, can’t you.
The danger is that once lock-in is done we return to instinct. Like Pumbi and Wesley we just can’t help ourselves when we’re back into whatever “back” is.
Having a spiritual experience, thinking better thoughts, brooding less anger, getting cleaned up on the inside doesn’t really help. It doesn’t solve the fundamental issue. You see I’m still me. Something else conspires to infect me inside. If it’s not Cov’19 it’ll be something else. I get cleaned up on the inside but I am still basically me, just like Pumbi is still sow and Wesley is still partly dog (ohhhh but shh don’t say anything cos they truly think they’re human).
Adjusting my lifestyle, getting cleaned up on the outside doesn’t really help either. I’m still me and, like Pumba, I’ll soon be back in another muddle. Like Dr Foster another puddle awaits.
Well what on earth is the answer. Not on earth. I’m glad to say my mate, Pearly Gates Peter, has another mate named Jesus who wants to give us a new nature. A new instinct if you like. We’ll have to cultivate and feed the good habits but something changes inside and out when I meet Jesus. The first time I met him I was never the same again, the Bible says “we become partakers of the divine nature” Where’s that from? Well it’s the same book of 2 Peter telling me God’s plan to make me into God’s man. It’s less of pulling me out of the muck and the mire, than pulling the muck and mire out of me.
Well blow me socks off with a vindaloo. There’s a hope for us yet and we don’t need a lock-in to make it true It’s Christ in me, and he’ll do the same for you. (Was that Keats or Tennyson, I hear you ask)
Fret Not. He ain’t finished with me and he ain’t finished with you