Friday, May 16, 2014

Chicks, Instincts, and Sin

I mentioned our chicks the other day…they are growing like crazy, with real feathers coming in to replace the downy fluff. We have them in the house, to protect them from the cold nights and mornings, but in a few weeks, they’ll be out in the chicken coop.

The chicks have a heat lamp hovering over them, as well; and we keep the door of the room closed to prevent our little dog, who has the run of the house most of the time, from bothering the chicks.

The other day, it was warm outside, and so it was even warmer inside; it seemed a bit stuffy to me in that room. I opened the window a few inches and decided I would turn on the ceiling fan to circulate the air.

The little chickies did not like that fan one bit! A chorus of alarmed chirping arose, their little flightless wings were fluttering frantically, and they were running around like chickens with their…well, never mind that part! Anyway, they were scared!

I remembered something that was actually from my psychology training, and it had to do with instincts. Birds and other animals that live on the ground are instinctively frightened when the shadow of a bird of prey passes over them. I think I remember that they are supposed to freeze in one position as the adaptive response to the presence of the predator, although my little chicks certainly didn’t do that.

At any rate, figuring that the moving blades of the fan triggered that instinct, I quickly shut off the fan.  The chicks were still pretty upset until I stopped all the remaining motion of the blades with my hand. Then they immediately calmed down and resumed their prior low-key activities.

I’m sure that if I wanted to, I could condition the chicks to be resistant to their fear of the moving fan blades.

It made me think about our reaction to sin…or at least, what it should be.

Ideally, we instinctively react against sin. Our fallen human nature starts immediately to make us immune to that reaction, though. That’s why we talk about “forming one’s conscience”.  By the natural law, we know that some things are wrong, but by our fallen human nature, we are susceptible to becoming resistant to the natural revulsion we feel toward sinful acts.

I guess this reminds me of the blight of sin on our souls -
a piece of junk in a beautiful wildenress setting.
A glaring example of that, of course, is what is becoming society’s unequivocal acceptance (which is a false “tolerance”) of homosexual behavior and lifestyle. What was once unmentionable and almost universally recognized as immoral has now become “tolerated”, accepted, and even endorsed and promoted as a positive good!

There are other less glaring examples, and we can all probably identify some relatively minor ones in our own lives – “little” sins which we have come to excuse ourselves of on various grounds of rationalization, but which in our hearts we know to be wrong.

The chicks’ reaction to a predator flying above them in the sky will, in the big scheme of things, determine their survival. Likewise, cultivating our own sense of what is right and what is wrong will determine our eternal destination.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.

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