TO CATCH A RABBIT


In Grade 3, I decided to grow a watermelon and catch a rabbit in my backyard. We lived in a row house in Galt, Ontario and had a tiny area behind the house. 

First, the watermelon… I took a seed from the piece of watermelon I had eaten and planted it near the back wall. Nothing came of it. I forgot that the lawn gets mowed. Sometimes we make plans and we do not account for all the factors that may work against us. Mine was a fruitless attempt.

Second, the rabbit… I carefully propped up one side of a cardboard box with a small stick. Under the box was a carrot. A piece of string joined the stick to my hand at a distance. 

Although I never caught a rabbit, I knew that a trap requires bait and a trigger mechanism.

I was frustrated in both attempts. I knew the ways, but did not have the patience and diligence to see it through. I gave up on becoming a gardener or trapper. 

If I had successfully caught a rabbit, what might it think? Imagine the bunny hopping into my backyard and spying the large, orange carrot. It’s initial joy (if rabbits have joy) at finding free food would have been replaced with sudden terror as the box came down around it. The rabbit would be trapped with no way out. Maybe my newly captured wild pet would be offended at this violation of its freedom. Perhaps it would kick and protest so violently that it would get free of the light cardboard box and fly away cursing at carrots.

Have you ever felt trapped into something? You were attracted to someone or something only to discover that there was a string attached. You could not have the person or object without releasing a trigger that would make you into a captive.

Sin and bad habits usually offer one thing and trap you unawares. That is what we mean when we say someone is ‘hooked on drugs’. They started out curious and ended up unable to get free of the pattern.

The Greeks had a word for the stick that triggered the trap. That word is skandalon.  

The Hebrew language also had another word mikshowl. Translated to Greek skandalon, it referred to a stumbling block. The Hebrew law included this one:

Leviticus 19:
14 “‘Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the Lord.

In other words, don’t say bad things to people who cannot hear you, and do not trip blind people. Don’t you know that God is paying attention to your behavior?

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