The Jungle: The Struggle to Survive

Last week I wrote a post about a vision that I had about a man walking in a jungle. I wrote asking for some feedback and promised that I would share a few of my thoughts on the vision at a later time. I have to say that, a week later, I have a few thoughts about this that I didn't have last week. It seems to me that the vision is a picture of struggle that unfolds in three parts - three separate struggles that I am calling "Three Struggles of the Heart". Here are the struggles as I see them:
  1. The struggle to Survive
  2. The struggle to Follow
  3. The struggle to Trust

Today I would like to discuss the struggle of survival. In the vision I saw a man lost in a dense jungle ... he hacked away at the underbrush trying to find a way out of the jungle. I am not sure that I can portray in words the sense of desperation that I felt as I looked at the jungle through the man's eyes. In a sense life really is a jungle. Listen to this and see if you get a sense of the struggle:

The Song of the Little Hunter

Ere Mor the Peacock flutters, ere the Monkey People cry,
Ere Chil the Kite swoops down a furlong sheer,
Through the Jungle very softly flits a shadow and a sigh--
He is Fear, O Little Hunter, he is Fear!
Very softly down the glade runs a waiting, watching shade,
And the whisper spreads and widens far and near.
And the sweat is on thy brow, for he passes even now--
He is Fear, O Little Hunter, he is Fear!

Ere the moon has climbed the mountain, ere the rocks are ribbed with light,
When the downward-dipping trails are dank and drear,
Comes a breathing hard behind thee--snuffle-snuffle through the night--
It is Fear, O Little Hunter it is Fear,
On thy knees and draw the bow; bid the shrilling arrow go;
In the empty, mocking thicket plunge the spear!
But thy hands are loosed and weak, and the blood has left thy cheek--
It is Fear, O Little Hunter, it is Fear!

When the heat-cloud sucks the tempest, when the slivered pine-trees fall,
When the blinding, blaring rain-squalls lash and veer,
Through the war-gongs of the thunder rings a voice more loud than all--
It is Fear, O Little Hunter, it is Fear!
Now the spates are banked and deep; now the footless boulders leap--
Now the lightning shows each littlest leaf--rib clear--
But thy throat is shut and dried, and thy heart against thy side
Hammers: Fear, O Little Hunter--this is Fear!

-- Rudyard Kipling

Survival drips with the refrain "It is Fear, O Little Hunter, it is Fear! ". Fear and desperation are the hallmarks of survival. Machetes in hand we all begin trying get our bearings in the jungle ... trying make our way in the darkness ... it is a period marked with desperation and fear. It is in this time when we discover that we have lost our way. We give up on ourselves and no longer trust our ability to 'think our way' out of the jungle.

It is during this time that the Lion appears with a roar. We are initially afraid - after all, lions are scary. The Lion surprises us and speaks to us ... yikes, a talking lion? The Lion is not like us - He is different in every way. The Lion is not afraid of the jungle. He challenges us by His friendship and His desire to show us the way out of the jungle. Everything in our head cries out against the Lion. Our head tells us that He is taking us to His den to eat us ... more fear arises as we ponder the words of the Lion ... how can we overcome the fear? Then ... overcoming our 'rational' fears ... we take a step with our heart ... it is the first step of real survival. It is the first time that we walk with our heart and not our head. It is the first step out of the jungle.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kansas Bob,
    Good post. Walking in a jungle is a appropriate metaphor for what I have been going through lately. And now that I have come out of the jungle, things begin to look different too. Thoughts and outlook have changed.

    We give up on ourselves and no longer trust our ability to 'think our way' out of the jungle.

    So true - up to a point, we'd just give up and that is the time the Lion comes, "can I now lead the way?"


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