Like many of you, I was thinking of Hippopotamuses the other day. They are big and ugly and crabby. You have to be careful when you make fun of your local Hippo…. they may take offense. I learned that “while hippos spend up to 16 hours a day submerged in water, they also take to the land (and have been known to be super aggressive). And for their size, they’re super speedy. Don’t try to outrun a hippo, because you’ll lose. They grow between 2,000 and 4,000 pounds, and can run between 15 and 30 miles per hour.” So, the next time you see a Hippo, don’t yell out “Hey Tubby”.
Where is this BLOG going? How can you possibly extract any spiritual insights from the “Angry Hippo” ? Well, let’s see…let’s hold on for a couple of minutes and see. Think for just a few moments…. how would Jesus build an important message out of the “Hippo Parable” ? To be honest I can’t think of anything too obvious….. so we’re going to have to widened the boarders a bit…expand the playing field …. spread out the tent pegs. Hmmmmm.. Ready ?
Let’s put ourselves back in the midst of World War II as Supreme Commander General Dwight Eisenhower. It’s an enormous world war, terrible casualties… every day brings reports of more battles, often of losing battles … constant strategizing… complexities. On a regular basis you convene your other generals to plan and deliberate. Sometimes you need to take a break from the battle planning and just talk… have a good dinner… maybe a bottle of good wine borrowed from a local French castle. Perhaps General Patton tells a story from his youth or Ike shares about working under General McArthur in the Philippines before Pearl Harbor. Perhaps there are a few jokes, a sharing of plans for after the war…. hopefully even some prayers for guidance and help. Hopefully they left those meetings encouraged and better prepared to stay in the fight.
Well, sometimes we need to make sure we don’t get too intense or even take ourselves too seriously as we live our life in this valley of tears, as the church militant. We need to pause and laugh and tell stories and share hopes for the future…. to thank God for our many blessings. Last evening, Judy and I took a short ride to get some fresh air and look at the sunset. We stopped for a quick visit with our daughter and husband and their “4 active and wonderful boys”. I felt refreshed as we got home, ready to continue the good fight of faith.
So, the next time you’re tempted to yell out “Hey Tubby” to your local Hippo, go ahead and do it and then run for your life… we can all use a good laugh.
“The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man; it takes up the hopes that inspire men’s activities and purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven; it keeps man from discouragement; it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude. Buoyed up by hope, he is preserved from selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity.” (CCC 1818)