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South Texas Living


Sticky Tar-Babies




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On the Road to Forever
May 2, 2011 | 2,623 views | Post a comment

The weather of late has been absolutely crazy. While parts of the country
are flooding, we've been deprived of rain for months. While we await a
favorable weather pattern to develop, other than a dry wind, we watch the
weather unleash horrible violence across many states day after day.
Tornadoes in the hundreds have brought fear and devastation to many
communities who now are in need of much prayer as they piece their lives
back together. I've never experienced such a cataclysmic event, and pray
to God I never do, but when I see such on the TV news, my heart aches for the people involved.

Well, we're one day closer to our next rain and trusting
in what all the old timers tell me, "...it's gonna rain, just as soon as this
dry spell is over." I was reminded the other day of a childhood story, "Brer Rabbit and the Briar Patch", by Joel Chandler Harris. "Brer Rabbit is a central figure in the Uncle Remus <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncle_Remus> stories of the
Southern United States <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_United_States>. He is a trickster <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trickster> character who succeeds through his wits, rather than through strength, tweaking authority figures and bending social mores <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mores> as he sees fit. The story of Brer Rabbit, a contraction <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contraction_(grammar)> of "Brother Rabbit", has been linked to both African and Cherokee <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherokee> cultures. Disney <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Walt_Disney_Company> later adapted the character for their Song of the South <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Song_of_the_South> " (Wikipedia). The story can conjure up many meanings. I had an English teacher who had us read the story in its original context, not an easy thing to do. So, Brer Fox, sort of a Wile E. Coyote, built a Tar-Baby of pitch, knowing Brer Rabbit
couldn't resist trying to socialize with it and touch it. Well, Brer Rabbit did just that and after hugging the Tar-Baby, Brer Rabbit was stuck and couldn't escape Brer Fox. "Who ax you fer ter come an strike up a 'quaintance widdish yer Tar-Baby? An who stuck you up dar whar you iz? Nobody in de roun' worril. You des tuck, and jam yo'se'f on dat Tar-Baby widout waitin' fer enny invite,' sez Brer Fox, sezee, 'an dar you is, an dar youll stay twel I fixes up a bresh-pile and fires her up, kaze urm gwineter bobby-cue you dis day, sho,' sez Brer Fox, sezee." Brer Rabbit had only one escape; the briar patch. "Den Brer Rabbit talk mighty 'umble. 'I don't keer w'at you do wid me, Brer Fox, jist so you don't fling me in dat brier-patch. Roas' me, Brer Fox, but don't fling me in dat briar-patch', sezsee." In the end all Brer Fox really wanted to do was hurt Brer Rabbit. "Co'se Brer Fox wanter hurt Brer Rabbit bad ez he kin, so he cotch 'im by de behi-me legs an slung 'im right in de middle er de briar-patch." There was a lot of commotion and at the end of the story, Brer Fox saw Brer Rabbit sitting on a log at the top of the hill combing the pitch out of his hair. Hero or villain?

[James 1:13-15] The devil is definitely the "Wile E. Coyote" type. He has
a knack for building "Tar-Baby" temptations to place in our path, hoping
we'll try to socialize with it and get stuck to it. James says when we desire a temptation, that's when we get stuck to it. "Oh, I'll only touch it, I
won't embrace it." Just touching a sticky situation has a tendency to not let
you go. But, because we have decided in our own mind to sin we can also decide to escape. "...And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide you a way out so that you can stand up under it" (1 Corinthians 10:12-13). God does not tempt. "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). "Please, whatever you do Mr. Devil, don't throw me into the presence of God!"

The minister asked the little girl, “Do you know what’s in the Bible?” “Yes”, she responded. “I think I know everything that is in it.” Surprised, the minister said, “That’s a pretty big claim for someone your size. Go ahead and tell me.” The little girl started out, “Well... let’s see... there’s a picture of my brother’s girlfriend, a ticket from the dry cleaners, one of my curls and a Pizza Hut coupon.”

A four-year-old was at the pediatrician for a check-up. As the doctor looked in her ear he asked, “Do you think I’ll find Big Bird in here?” The little girl stayed silent. Next the doctor took a tongue depressor and looked down her throat. “Do you think I’ll find the Cookie Monster down here?” Again the little girl was silent. Then the doctor put the stethoscope on her chest. As he listened to her heartbeat he asked, “Do you think I’ll hear Barney in here?” “Oh no!” the girl replied. “That will never happen! Jesus is in my heart, Barney is on my socks!”

[1 Corinthians 15: 50-58] Do you truly know what’s in the Bible? Is Jesus in your heart? Does your hope rest in the resurrection or are you afraid of death? Jesus went to the cross to fulfill God’s will to redeem man from his sins. In the garden, as he prayed, Jesus asked if it were possible there be another way, but he also knew, for the new covenant of reconciliation for man and God to be enforced, a blood sacrifice had to be made. Jesus was that sacrifice. His love for you and I brought forth death and life at the same time. Jesus’ blood washed away the sins of the world and His resurrection to life has opened the way for sinners to be with God forever. I, like Jesus, don’t especially look forward to my time of death, but I’m not afraid, for He has proven to me there’s more to come. My hope of glory rests in His resurrection. Like the farmer, who plants dead seed, and patiently waits for the soil to yield it’s valuable crop (James 5:7), I rest in the fact that I have died to sin, through baptism, and patiently await the coming of my Lord when I will be clothed with immortality to live with God eternally. I pray you will thirst after righteousness and seek God before it is everlastingly too late. (James 3)
 

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