Curiosity and Fear

We live on two acres. Approximately 1 acre is watered green grass, a tree line, an orchard and house. The other acre makes me think of the Prologue to book five of one of my favorite fiction series “The Dark Tower Series”.

Tian was blessed (though few farmers would have used such a word) with three patches: River Field, where his family had grown rice since time out of mind; Roadside Field, where ka-Jaffords had grown sharproot, pumpkin, and corn for those same long years and generations; and Son of a Bitch, a thankless tract which mostly grew rocks, blisters, and busted hopes.

-Wolves of Calla, Steven King

He goes on to describe the tract of land called Son of a Bitch in more detail in the book and it’s a thankless stretch of land that is actually dangerous to work because of the dangerous terrain. I have felt like that at times about the other acre of our property here. In this part of the lawn there’s no established watering system and it’s mostly cheat grass, goatheads (nasty plants which dry out and make terrible thorns) and rugged terrain pockmarked by field mice dens. Out of part of this patch of land I have scratched a garden that’s about 45×25 feet.

An interesting observation I have made during my work on this garden: I get a crowd. Almost any time I’m down there working on it I gather a large crowd of cows. The pictures below show me in the garden with a typical crowd and the second after I went up to the house to take a picture after gathering my biggest crowd of cows ever.

You can get a sense in the first picture how intensely they cows are interested in me. They show an amazing degree of curiosity that perhaps I’m not giving them credit, becuase it my mind I think of them being such passive, grass chewing domesticated animals.

The more fascinating thing for me is how similar in behavior they are to my cats actually. Our cats are intensively curious about our activities. Any little move or noise however and they bolt. It’s like for these animals, the cows and cats, fear and curiosity are intertwined. Which does make sense to me. If you are so interested in what I’m doing why do you run if I step toward you? A common thing in the garden is that I’ll be down on the ground pulling weeds and if I stand up, about half the cows run. Or I’ll be working the hoe with my back to the cows and if I turn toward them, they run again. Within a few minutes they usually come back to continue to stare in abject fascination.

It dawned on me however that we are not too dissimilar in our relationship with God. Almost all mankind feels the need to search for God. Almost everyone at a point in their life searches for meaning and relationship with God. Often however as we draw close and discover some bit of truth the consequences of that discovery make us run away. The curiosity and the fear intertwined. When we are confronted by our sin, and our helplessness to combat it without giving in to God, we often reject that because of our pride. I know I lived like that for quite some time.

For a time in my life I thought I was actually more moral then my friends and some of them were Christian. As I got more curious about Christianity I began to be afraid of the implication that my morals were not a ticket to any kind of heaven. There was only one “Way, the Truth, and the Life”. It wasn’t me. Scary stuff! The horror…! I kept finding myself come back though. The curiosity is to innate. Eventually the Truth was more than my fear could ward off.

Published in: on May 18, 2010 at 5:46 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I like this discussion of curiosity and fear. We are drawn like the cats and cows and just like them our curiosity is intense and can’t be resisted.

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