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A Call to the Wild

Jack London's now famous novel, The Call of the Wild, was first published piece by piece in the Saturday Evening Post over the summer of 1903. It's the tale of a mixed breed dog, Buck, and his difficult life. The story follows his life transformation from a gentle dog into a wild beast, driven by wretched humans and other dogs. Ironically, the call of Jesus of Nazareth to mankind is the polar opposite; Jesus calls for us to tame our wild side and become like Him.

Within each of us is the "wild." Humanity is not by nature either nurturing nor gentle. The horrific actions of nations and individuals through the centuries show the barbaric nature of out ancestors. The fact that human wretchedness still abounds is as close as the nightly news. Still, there is within us another nature that longs to be called forth.

The words of Jesus amaze us, touch us and fulfill us. They bring calm and peace where violence tends to dominate. "Blessed are the peacemakers" (Mat. 5:9). "Blessed are t hose who hunger and thirst for righteousness" (Mat 5:6). "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you" (Mat 5:44).

Paul describes the change that transforms us from wild to tamed by God, (Col. 3:5-10) Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. ... put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him."

Each day we choose the power that will live within us. We may choose to open ourselves to the darkness of the world, fanning the flames of lust, selfishness, greed, hatred and perhaps vengeance. But Jesus calls us to the greatness that grows within us upon hearing that we are created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27) and capable of becoming sons of God (Jn. 1:12). The influence of the world is powerful, but the words of Jesus are more powerful to those who, through living in a wild world, long in their hearts to be made tame and turned into the image of Christ.

- Tim Orbison


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