Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Instinct or Spirit

I stood watching my dog Lucky roll delightedly on his favorite lawn at the far edge of our neighborhood, and had the strange sensation of being watched myself. Honeybun was sniffing while Lucky was rolling. I looked off into the forested edge of the favorite lawn, and there stood a mother deer and two speckled fawns. The fawns were eating, but the mother was on high alert. She saw my two predators only 50 feet away, and she stamped a foot. Her huge radar like ears were pointed at us and she was frozen in place, the massive dark eyes unblinking, and the foot every few seconds stamping.

"We won't hurt you," I told her, but she gave no indication of believing me. She didn't run, didn't even yet alert her babies, unless that is what the foot stamping was all about. I had the feeling that if we moved one step towards her, she would charge us. I don't know what damage a deer can do, except maybe to contort her victim's face into a permanent expression of "Ohhh, how sweet....", but still, I didn't want to antagonize this new mother. I know what mothers are capable of when they believe their babies to be in danger.

I turned and pulled the dogs after me. They never got scent of the deer. She watched us, till we were a good distance down the road, and then she finally pivoted and urged her fawns to follow her deep into the forest. Her defiance in the face of danger was impressive. She stood no chance against two dogs. She must've known that, yet she stared them down. I don't know if she was a particularly brave deer, or if that is what deer do. She seemed to sense they had not yet seen her, but she had to know I did. I was looking right at her, and even talking to her.  Was it foolishness, bravery, or instinct?

Often, that is what our actions boil down to as well. Are we brave, foolish or acting on some inner directive, some unknown guide that tugs us in ways we feel we have no choice but to follow? In a deer, we call it instinct, but from my perspective, it is the hard wiring God placed in every creature to help them survive. In humans, I think it is the call of God as well, but in a different way. I think it is the tugging on our conscience that is not forceful enough to determine action like in animals, but if we listen to it, forceful enough to move mountains. If we ignore it, and unlike animal instinct, we can  ignore it, I think it gradually fades from our soul and all we are left with is foolishness or bravery. We are on our own, and anyone conversant with history knows every great civilization has ultimately toppled. So much for self-reliance.

The deer disappeared into the forest, and the shadows of the trees completely concealed the speckled fawns. I marveled at the small moments of exquisite joy that remind me God is always watching, always protecting, and always sending me evidence of His presence. He doesn't demand my attention, but I am always rewarded when I grant it.

2 Peter 2:12
12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.

Jude 1: 18-2018 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
 20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful observation! I often see deer, but had never put it together quite this way. It certainly makes a lot of sense, though.

    I also wanted to let you know that I left you an award over on my blog. Have a wonderful day!