A group of lions in a zoo, suffering grievously from their imprisonment, formed themselves into various groups. There was the patriotic group: these would meet very often and sing sad songs about their jungle home; nostalgia was their specialty. Then there was the political group whose meetings were always so noisy that you had the impression they were good for something. And then there were a few groups whose interest was entertainment; their aim was to distract themselves from their predicament. But there was one lion who refused to join any of these groups. He would sit in front of the gate and stare straight ahead all day. the others thought him anti-social and depressed, and they stopped inviting him to join their groups. One day, out of pity, one of them sat down beside him and asked gently, “What goes on in your poor sad mind as you sit all day staring?”
“I’m studying the lock.” he replied.
Source | Donaugh O’Shea OP, In a Fitful Light. Conversations On Christian Living
(Dominican Publications, 1994 ) pages 128-129
PONDER AND CONSIDER
- The lone lion, a philosopher lion! Was he not the only practical animal in the whole zoo?
A Christian who went to study Zen in Japan met a Zen master who asked her what was moving in her spiritual life.
“I dwell a lot recently on the idea of the Kindom of God,” she replied.
Instantly the Zen master said, “Show me the Kindom of God!”
Source | Unknown
PONDER AND CONSIDER
- You get nowhere by telling a Zen master about your ideas.
- As it happens, the woman in our story went on to eventually become a Zen master, and she spent much of her time and energy in prison ministry – setting captives inwardly free.
- She is now through her daily deeds showing us the Kingom of God.
- And where do you stand? Are you perhaps still stuck in ideas or unstuck in some form of social engagement?
Please note that for me at this time in my evolution the ‘g’ in ‘kingdom’ is silent. Not pronounced. It’s really ‘kindom!’ ! The real purpose of God, I believe, is to build Kindom more than Kingdom. Kingdom is about hierarchies. Kindom is about all of us opening our eyes to see how everything and everyone is in fact a kin, a brother, a sister, a sibling. It is about building life-giving, relational connections: locally, globally and internationally … between different religions, faiths and denominations … between friends, strangers and enemies … between ourselves and those neighbours we never speak too … with all those who are different from us. It is also about forging some form of creative connection with our four legged, winged and finned creatures and the environment.
Once upon a time John and his young son Philip were driving through town when they came upon a traffic jam. Up ahead they could see that a large semi trailer with a high load had become wedged under a railway overpass.
The father experienced only the frustration of being held up while his son experienced a world of unbelievable wonder. There were police everywhere and fire trucks, a big crane and even a train that was forced to stop at the approach to the bridge.
While John sat in the car fuming, his son Philip could no longer contain himself. He sprang out of the car and raced away towards all the important people in suites, wearing yellow hats, all trying to figure out what to do.
“I know how to get the truck out!” he cried out. The men were more concerned for the boy’s safety and shooed him away. The young fellow persisted until he found someone who would listen – all the time dragging an exhausted dad behind him.
“What do you think we should do?” asked the man. “If you want to get the truck out all you have to do is let the air out of the tires!”
PONDER AND CONSIDER
Ah! The power and beauty of lateral thinking! The next time you’re stuck, think differently, think sideways, thing tangentially, think laterally! See what possible solutions emerge.