Medieval Times is a dinner show set in medieval Spain with a king, a princess and a royal court with knights. During the show, the knights compete and battle. It's an exciting, fast paced spectacle which keeps you on the edge of your seats.
At the beginning of the show, as we were eating, we watched Andalusian stallions perform. The beauty and grace of these specially trained horses is perfect and watching them perform is breathtaking.
Included in our package was a DVD describing what takes place behind the scene. We were taken to the 250 acre ranch in Texas where the horses live. I was thrilled to hear that the horses are given freedom to roam and just be horses. Everything sounded so wonderful until the scene switched back to the arena and we watched the horses perform. The narrator told us how much the horses loved to perform. He said that they live to perform; it's their job.
I'm sure the horses love to perform but . . . isn't prancing on cue unnatural behavior? It seems to me that their trainers have taken what is natural behavior for a horse and harnessed it and made it unnatural. I wondered if those horses really understood what it means to live free if they might not choose their freedom rather than the artificial life of performance.
I'm sure those of you who are familiar with my blog can figure out where I'm going with this but isn't this the same as institutional religion? Religion has taken behavior that is natural for believers and made it unnatural. Our relationship with God and other believers has now become planned with worship and relationship fitting into a pre-programmed slot.
At one time, I loved it and lived for the times when I could be in church. My life revolved around those times. I actually thought that this was what I was created for until Father removed me from that environment. He took me out into the wild to begin showing me what I was really created for. It wasn't to perform on schedule. It was to enjoy life as his child and to share that life with my brothers and sisters.
At first the old way seemed better but, didn't Jesus say that no one having drunk old wine immediately desires the new because he thinks the old wine is better? There is a detox period when we learn how to live free from the man made trappings of religion. The temptation to go back is often strong but, if we persist, we will in time begin to experience the freedom and joy that we were created for and then there will be no going back.
2008 has been a wonderful year as I've made new friends and strengthened old friendships. This blogging community has been a source of great encouragement for me and I look forward to continuing this journey with all of you in 2009.