How one of the greatest Celebrations in Creationtide ever started out?
Did you know how one of the greatest Celebrations in Creationtide ever started out? The beginning of that story is not good, rather nasty really, but it alll ends well
No? Well I have heard it tell like this and I know it is true.
One day, meeting at the Great Field to exchange chitchat, the animals felt bored. The lion yawned, the dog snored and chased flies in his dream, the cat looked through slit eyes as if she wanted to spit at everybody, even their shadows, and the pig thought longingly only of her wallow.
The snake shook himself out of the boredness and said brightly: “Why don’t we have a party mixed with a contest? And we’ll ask the Lord and the Holy Spirit to come and have fun with us”. “What is a conssstet”? asked the tyrannosaur.
“Oh, well”, grinned the snake, “my dearest dumbo, that means, for example, that we wrestle and find out who is the strongest; or we dance, and find out who dances best and so on. The field mouse wrestling with you; now that would be good to see”.
All the animals giggled as they imagined the field mouse tackling the tyro, but the field mouse chirped right back: “But if tickling is allowed and why not, I would have her flat on her back within 3 minutes!”
The tyrannosaur giggled as well but then said hesitatingly: “Is that quite fair? I am the strongest and the tickliest, or maybe the bronto is, everyone knows that”.
From somewhere, back in the field, some grumpy voice muttered: “Right, so better no saurusses to join in at all. Rather stupid, they are, don’t you think?”.
“No, oh, no”, said the snake, “no, what nonsense, we will all have fun because…”.
Another voice, just as grumpy, from somewhere at the left, back of the field, grumbled:
”So, no saurusses, and therefore no reptiles at all, nor birds, those are close families after all.”
Another voice, from another corner of the Field, snidely interrupted, “Let’s just have mammals, much easier for everyone”.
“But”, tapped the tarantula rapidly, “but that means that no insects, no bacteria, no frogs, no…, almost nobody can take part, that is what it would mean! We cannot leave out the whales, who else is going to sound the songs? And the lobsters and crabs, they are our castanets for the orchestra! And the jellyfish, who dance the light with the fireflies!
You cannot mean this”.
“Oh, shut up”, continued a new, very nasty voice, “You lot can have your own contest, we don’t care. We’ll just have only the mammals for once, we don’t need no creepy-crawlies, no wetties, no flappers, no any silly biggies; nor such smallies that you can not see them anyway. Just the nice furry mammals with straight tails, who keep themselves clean from mud”.
“If you mean me”, said the pig, “then thank you very much, anyway: I will not take part in that silly contest of you. Only mammals allowed. Whole Creation, minus one, excluded. What nonsense indeed!” The pig walked off without a backward glance.
The tyrannosaur nodded and said: “Since you don’t seem want us either, we’ll go look for a bite to eat”. She bent her knees, looked at the field mouse:
“Coming with us, to play, to wrestle?” The field mouse smiled and hopped on to her big toe. All the ‘saurs then thundered away.
The snake slipped down into a small hole, reared itself up and shouted: “But I meant the contest for a joke, can you not see that?”
“No reptiles allowed here anymore”, snarled a voice, “Away from us, you nastiness!”
The birds looked at each other, twittered, shook their heads and slowly flew after the ‘saurs. The insects chirped, rustled, clicked, whirred and then withdrew from all over the Field. The bacteria faded in colour. The Sun hid herself behind dark clouds.
Cold, dark mist flowed in. The Field suddenly seemed a lot smaller and colder and darker. The mammals shivered in dread.
The squirrel felt all wrong, he shook it his head, he could not think in this loneliness, this fog, this wrongness.
Then the nasty voices continued: “So: day after tomorrow, at early afternoon, everybody come back here and show off what he can do best and bring his best. Females can only join on show of written agreement by the males.”
The voice went on: “I will write your lord and his flunky a letter to invite them as your judge. And remember, no talking to outsiders or traitors, such as that dirty pig. And no borrowing or help allowed, everyone should work it out by himself”.
“But, but”, spluttered the squirrel, “this is not right, we should not…”
“Afraid to lose?”, snarled the voices in the mist, “Well, your lord will be asked to give a prize for the worst coward. We suppose you are right in line for it! Now get off and go to work!”
Sneering, jeering laughter followed the mammals as they fled the Field.
The squirrel fled too, home to his tree and cried himself to sleep, so full of trouble that he mumbled through his prayers. He did not see the Holy Spirit, who hovered nearby in the trees.
The next morning the squirrel awoke, feeling stiff all over and bruised in his brain.
He mumbled through his prayers again as the Sun crept slowly over the horizon and then hid herself in the clouds.
The squirrel then thought of asking the Holy Spirit to help him, but what could he say to Her? He had not left the Field like the pig; he had not protested as had the snake; he had not spoken like the tarantula; he had really been the coward the voices had sneered at.
What could he do?
“Well”, he thought, “the pig used to be my friend, I could ask the pig to help me think. I’ll be a betrayer as well as a coward, but it does not matter anymore, now does it?”
When he had found the pig, he asked, “What can I do to show my best tomorrow?”
“Oh, still on that madness?” asked the pig. “I think that is your own business to tackle. I am very busy today; the birds are teaching me to fly and we are all having such fun!
Care to join us?”
“No, thanks, I just have to figure out what is my best…”
“Hm”, said the pig, “Why then not ask the Holy Spirit?”
“I am a coward and a betrayer to talk with you even”.
“Oh?”, said the pig, “says who?”
“Err, those voices…you know, err”. “No, I don’t and I do not want to”, said the pig “Think it over. I am learning to fly, and having fun. No silly voice is going to tell me what I can do or can do not”.
The squirrel sat down, and tried to organize his thoughts. What had those voices said, why had he felt he had to obey? He could not remember.
He sighed and decided to go to the tarantula, to see if she could help him. He searched and searched and finally found the tarantula on the savannah.
“What can I do to show my best tomorrow?”, he asked.
“Ask the Holy Spirit, you silly, and why would you, anyway, do your best for strange voices who do not even identify themselves?” tapped the tarantula.
“I am teaching the lobsters and crabs to dance and the oysters are thinking to join. And the whales will come in later, to see how we can join with their song or they join with our dancing. We all are having such fun, come and join us!”
“No, not yet, thank you very much”, said the squirrel, going cross eyed at the sight of two lobsters and two crabs who tried out a pas-de-quatre.
“I want to ask the tyrannosaur first, if she can help me; I’ll come back later, if I may”
He went on, over the savannah, to where the dinosaurs often ambled about during the day. He saw no ‘saurs, only a tremendous dust cloud, and he heard much bass laughing mingled with little, high, excited shrieks. He went on in the dust until he stumbled over a tail. He tugged on it, most politely and waited patiently. Finally, a big head swung down to him.
“Hi there, squirrel”, grinned the bronto,
“What do you want? Join the fun, the field mouse is wrestling with the tyro and it would be such fun if you could join”.
“No, thank you, not yet, I first need to find out how I can do my best tomorrow”.
“Oh, that silly conssstet? We all forgot about it. Ask the Holy Spirit! Or even better, do not bother your noggin. Just come and join the fun, ‘t will work out the same, I guess”, said the bronto.
A deep boom shook the earth, followed by a very high squeak: “I won! I won, I won! I did! I did! Now come and wrestle me, you big lumps!” “Oh, sighed the bronto, “now you made me miss that trick! Just ask the Holy Spirit to help you, I wanna wrestle now!”
And he clumped off.
The squirrel sighed enviously as he slogged home through the forest.
Sharing with the others, sharing the fun and joy at being so different, and yet the same underneath, that was what he wanted too, not being the best himself or something stupid like that. “I am stupid, I listened to silly voices, I just deserve to be alone and miserable” he mused over and over.
He climbed his tree, did not say his prayers as he felt a total idiot to even try, and cried himself to sleep again. He did not hear the Holy Spirit, who called to him, gently, from the trees.
The day of the great contest, the squirrel awakened most reluctantly.
“I want to wrestle and tickle and dance and fly and share fun with my friends. I do not want to go, it is silly and dangerous to obey strange voices, it is stupid. But I was a coward when I did not protest and stood up for my friends… I can not leave them alone now again, I just cannot…” He could not find any words and felt desperate and befuddled all over again. What could he do?
At last he forced himself to try to think. “Now what do I do best? Gather nuts, and pick up glorious beauty when I spot it. But it is not mine, it is the Lord’s.
He gave it all to us, to me, first. The whole Creation is His, what could I give Him?”
The wind in his fur susurrated: “your love, your heart”.
The brook he looked at, babbled: “your love, your heart”.
The acorns in the tree near his home, clattered: “your love, your heart”.
The squirrel felt a slight lift in his soul.
“So, if I take the largest acorn I have found, and that sparkling glittering green pebble I found last week, maybe that would be good enough. Just barely acceptable, I hope, rather”.
He knew where the pebble was, next to his bed, to rejoice over every morning when he woke up and every evening when he went to sleep. With a shock he realized he had not even looked at it during the last two days.
“I have had the glory of the Lord right next near to me, and have not even looked at it! How did I get to be so stupid, so befogged?”
He took up the pebble, dusted it, smiled lovingly at its deep, deep shining greenness and started looking for that big acorn. “Why do I always forget where I put the acorns the Lord gave me? Oh, never mind, some kiddie will enjoy them, or else the ants, or the beetles, or well, whosoever, whatsoever. I’ll look for a new one, fresh, new”.
He squinted at the tree that looked invitingly rich with tasty acorns. “There, that big full one, pinkily greenish gleaming. It is just across that tiny bough, at the end of that tiny other bough.
“Now: if I jump really far and aim most carefully, I can just grab it.”
So, he jumped and tried and tried; the third time he held the acorn in his claws and started falling. As he scrabbled to get ahold of the bark to stop his crazy fall, he laughed. This was freedom and happiness!
He landed softly on the year-old old mouldy leaves, shook himself clean, grabbed the pebble in his right claw and the acorn in his left paw, and started towards the Great Field.
The closer he came to the Field, the more miserable he felt. There was no laughter, no gay challenge, no dust, no booms, no shouts of encouragements, there was silence and darkness deepening... The squirrel thought longingly of creeping away.
Then he looked at the pebble, and smiled at its pure greenness. He looked at the acorn and smiled at its promise of lovely food. He put them gently down, brushed his fur all over, fluffed it out, curled his tail, picked up pebble and acorn, and walked onto the Great Field. He looked neither left nor right, but looked towards the Lord. He saw the Lord far way, looking stern and sad, as a judge would. Lonely. Where was the Holy Spirit?
The squirrel heard that jeering voice: “And you think you can do anything about it? Here is reality, you know, and it will reign forever and ever.”
“Be realistic just for once. Face reality if you can and then you will be the best and the master of all.”
“Me?”. The squirrel suddenly giggled aloud. This was silly, really silly.
“I am facing the Lord’s reality already and why should I care about being the best or the master of what or who anyway? Trees, mushrooms, colours, rocks, the clouds??? Life and Love and Hope are the bestest and I want my friends back and the joy I let you steal from me. I just want to be myself as the Lord made me, in His Love and His Life. That is real bestness; I do not need nor want any other”.
The squirrel walked then steadily on. “How could I have been so blind?”, he thought. “Look, the Lord is right here, and the Sun has come out and the Holy Spirit is right here also!”
He forgot about taking any more steps.
He just bowed deeply. “Lord, maybe that pebble just slipped from Your pocket, I would not know, but it is the most lovely I could find, so take it please? And that lovely acorn, maybe the Holy Spirit just left it in Her Abundance, that flows from You, forever. It is the best I could find, please take it? Please take it as our love, from all of us? We are so sorry.
Help us, please?”
The Lord smiled, the Holy Spirit smiled and the squirrel caught one glimpse of Their Mercy and Grace.
When he came to, the snake was telling jokes on his one side and the pig wallowed at his other side and the whales were singing and the birds were singing and the lobsters and oysters and crabs were dancing and the ‘saurs had spread out on the Gigantic Field and laughter and colour was everywhere.
It all turned into one of the greatest Celebrations ever, Sid.
The Galaxies and the stars reverberated in their joy.
Psalm 85. 4 – 13;
Psalm 146; Psalm 148
Romans 7: 15 – 20; 7. 22 – 24
Luke 15 3 – 7
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