Wednesday, July 06, 2005

My Personal Scorpion of Sin

There once was a very old tale, written long ago. It can be traced back to ancient Sanskrit, written by a royal scholar named Bidpai. Remember?

A scorpion, being a very poor swimmer, asked a turtle to carry him on his back across a river.
"Are you mad?" asked the turtle, "you'll sting me and I'll drown."
My dear turtle," laughed the scorpion, "if I were to sting you, you would drown and I would go down with you. Why would I do that?"
"You're right!" cried the turtle. "Hop on!" The scorpion climbed aboard and halfway across the river he gave the turtle a mighty sting. As they both sank to the bottom, the turtle desperately said:
"You promised you wouldn't sting me. Why did you do it?"
"It is my nature to sting," the drowning scorpion sadly replied. "After all, you knew I was a scorpion when you let me climb onto your back."

After his recent conversion, Dave Mustaine (yes, this Dave Mustaine) released a new album earlier this year entitled 'The System Has Failed'. In 'The Scorpion', he states:
As I climb upon your back,
I will promise not to sting.
I will tell you things you want to hear
and not mean anything.
I will treat you like a dog
as I shoot my venom in.
You knew all along
that I am a scorpion.

Reality check:
I thought I could make it across without getting stung by sin. But now that the poison is in my blood, my fear is that I'll drown out here. It is as if my own sin is telling me "As you go down, remember one thing: you knew what I was when you invited me onto your back." I don't want to go down like this.

Yes, Christ forgives me.
Yes, as his adopted son, I'll never be sent away.
Nevertheless, the stench of my sin must make God's stomach churn. My nature [probably yours, too] is to return to our sin again and again, like a dog to his vomit.

We are called to die to sin. But sometimes I just can't die dead enough.


At 8:03 PM, Anonymous Scott M said...

I've been stung by own sin and the sin of others in so many ways, so many times. I should have sunk forever a long time ago. It makes no sense that my head is still above water.

But I have a God who loves me.

I reject him.

And he loves me.

I vent my anger at him.

And he loves me.

I fail, again and again.

And he loves me.

I finally acknowledge my failure and my continued failing. I know it probably makes him sick. Anyone would react that way. I can't even look at him. I hang my head in shame.

Then a hand gently lifts my chin, brushes my hair back, and brings me eyes to his. And in his eyes I see that he aches for me, especially for the pain I cause myself. And he understands. How hard it is. How difficult. How I struggle. He's experienced it all. For me. Out of love. And because he could stand where I fall, he paid the price to ransom me. He could not bear the thought of losing me.

I search and find no condemnation in those eyes. No revulsion. No frustration. No impatience. Just love. Boundless, endless love. And from that love I find strength to keep swimming, to keep my head above water one more day, one more moment. I'm helpless to respond any other way.

Conquered by love.

The quote I placed on the SBC emerging leader's blog in the book quote thread seems oddly appropriate here.

I consider myself as the most miserable of all human beings, covered with sores, foul, and guilty of all sorts of crimes committed against my King; moved by sincere remorse I confess all my sins to him. I ask him pardon and abandon myself into his hands so he can do with me as he pleases. Far from chastising me, this King, full of goodness and mercy, lovingly embraces me, seats me at his table, waits on me himself, gives me the keys to his treasures, and treats me in all things as his favorite; he converses with me and takes delight in me in countless ways, without ever speaking of forgiveness or taking away my previous faults. Although I beg him to fashion me according to his heart, I see myself still weaker and miserable, yet ever more caressed by God. This is what I see from time to time while in his holy presence.

The Practice of the Presence of God, Critical Edition, p.54, Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection (tr. by Salvatore Sciurba)

At 7:18 AM, Blogger martyduren said...

Great post. It will probably find its way into a sermon soon. With appropriate footnoting of course...

At 7:19 AM, Blogger martyduren said...

I also like the look of your blog ;^)


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