The Reason For A Cage
Some years ago, a dear friend who was breeding birds gave me a new-hatched canary whose mother had rejected him and was not feeding him. He looked pathetically naked and drawn up into himself like a fetus, and my heart was bonded to him. I worried myself over that scrawny featherless baby, and fed him with a dropper at all hours until he could eat mash on his own.
He feathered out gray and looked grave and distinguished like the finch his breed is cousin to, so my eldest brilliantly named him Atticus. He learned to fly, and would flap about the house till he landed on my shoulder, then affectionately peck at my face for attention. I was his mother. What a delight to the family Atticus was! He began to sing the most wonderful songs, and we wanted only the best for him, so we nurtured his musical talents with Mozart.
But foolish me, I could not bear to keep that sweet free spirit caged up, and I would let him fly free, but the wee bird would often walk about the floor as well, and in alarm, we would scoop him up to the safety of his cage. One day the unthinkable happened: Atticus was not in the safety of his cage, no, he was hopping about on the floor, when a hapless child stepped on him. Oh, my poor son! And oh, the mourning and crying over that bird! I wept, so heartbroken. And why did God allow that to happen to that poor sweet creature who only filled our troubled home with his cheery trills?
Recently I asked Him that again, and I think the Father knew I was strong enough spiritually to hear His tender rebuke. He said that I was given the responsibility for keeping our fledgling safe, and I ignored the cage that was provided for Atticus’ protection.
Ravi Zacharias has written in Recapture the Wonder
G.K. Chesterton once quipped that before you remove any fence always ask why it was put there in the first place. You see, every boundary set by God points to something worth protecting, and if you are to protect the wonder of existence, God’s instruction book is the place to turn. Anyone who thinks he or she can place the boundaries arbitrarily will either destroy the enchantment of life or else wear him or herself into exhaustion. God’s commands are there to protect what life is truly about, not the other way around. Implementing that truth in our lives keeps us from losing the wonder.
And even more vitally, implementing those truths keeps our very life. For I have heard many say, “God would never allow me to be deceived. He is good and loving. He would not give me a snake when I’ve asked for a fish.” Well, yes, indeed He is very good, but He has entrusted you with the stewardship of His Word in your life; and bold adventuring beyond the safe boundaries of scripture leaves you open to delusion and deception. And you will not feel deceived. It will always seem so right and natural, so emotionally satisfying to be rid of all that restricts the Spirit’s free expression. Caught up from the bliss of of flight, and not discerning the one who seeks to crush and destroy and render you captive to his will, you might never see that cruel foot coming down.