Summary: We learned them as children, but did we learn from them? There is truth wrapped up in these tales!
Pt. 2 - The Gingerbread Man
Told before bedtime or perhaps around the feet of our grade school teachers these are the stories we learned as children. These tales taught us life lessons and truths that we had to think through to grasp. Morals of the stories were supposed to teach us morals in life. However, unknown to many of us they also taught us significant spiritual truths! Let's look at one of these fairytales we know so well and see if we can unwrap a spiritual truth that is in it.
Once upon a time there was a little old man and a little old woman who live in a cottage. They would have been happy except for the fact that they did not have a child. One day, when the old lady was making gingerbread, she cut a piece in the shape of a boy and put it into the oven. When she opened the oven again, the gingerbread man jumped up and ran through the kitchen and out of the cottage shouting, "Don't eat me!" The little old woman ran after the gingerbread man. "Stop," she yelled. But the gingerbread man ran even faster, chanting, "Run, run as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man." The woman called her husband and they went after him but could not catch him. The gingerbread man runs by a barn full of threshers and says, "I've run away from a little old woman, a little old man, and I can run away from you, I can!" The barn full of threshers joined the chase, but could not catch him as well. Next, the gingerbread man came to a field full of mowers, again boasting that they couldn't catch him. Then came a cow, then a pig, but no one was close to catching the gingerbread man. Then the gingerbread man reached a wide river, but he didn't know how to swim. A sly and hungry fox saw the gingerbread man and said, "Jump on my tail, and I'll take you across the river!" The gingerbread man thought to himself, "I'll be safe on his tail." So he jumped on the fox's tail and they started across the river. Halfway across the river, the fox barked, "You're too heavy for my tail, jump on my back." So the gingerbread man jumped on the fox's back. Soon, the fox said, “You're too heavy for my back, jump onto my nose." So the gingerbread man jumped on the fox's nose. But as soon as they reached the riverbank, the fox flipped the gingerbread man into the air, caught him and began to eat him up, with the gingerbread man stating’ "Oh dear, I'm a quarter gone!" And then, "Oh, I'm half gone." Then, "I'm three-quarters gone!" And finally, "I'm all gone!"
Let me take you a moment and talk about how this familiar tale teaches us some spiritual truths and then point you to some Scripture.
We think we are the exception rather than the rule!
The Gingerbread Man's demise came because he assumed, he couldn't be caught. Doesn't that sound us? We watch as people all around us are caught by the fox of foxes. We observe others fall to the traps he lays out for them and we still think we are too fast to be caught. It is amazing to me that Jesus tells us that this sly fox's sole purpose and desire is to kill, steal and destroy us. He wants to eat us up. And although we would testify to Jesus' absolute commitment to save souls we wink at, ignore and even dismiss the enemy’s same tenacity and absolute resolve to destroy us. So, the result is we continue to flirt with, hang around the fringes of, and play with danger. Always convinced that we are too fast, too wise, too strong, too _________________ to be caught. Run, run as fast as you can. You can't catch me I'm invincible man! We are the exception. The trap designed is enough to catch others, but not us and we wake up not only caught but destroyed! The power that Jesus gives us when we enter relationship with Him is the power to refrain not to dabble and dash. It seems to me that too many of experience Jesus and then think that now we are strong enough to manage, handle and deal with what was killing us before Jesus. We go back and do the same things as if now that we have Jesus those things are no longer able to destroy us. Perhaps we have missed the point. Jesus came into our lives not so that we could keep doing what we always did and survive, but instead so that we could escape and not go back! If that isn't the case, then we our saved but just as bound. Saved but just as addicted. Saved but just as angry. Saved but just as mean. Saved but just as depressed. Saved but just as troubled! That doesn't sound like what Jesus said when after telling us the devil's goal He tells us His . . . life and life more abundant. Perhaps life abundant only comes when we first live life abandoned. We abandon the things that were destroying us so that the life of Jesus can be lived.