| Hog Heaven? .... Hardly!
| Latest Update 011006 (October 6, 2001)
In a Galaxy far, far away and in a time long forgotten, there existed - near the edge of a minor spiral as part of an insignificant solar system - a small planet under special protection by StarMaker. It was inhabited entirely by a colony of pigs. It once had been a beautiful place, created with much love and care by StarMaker. But, … you know how pigs are …, the place soon turned into a pigsty.
StarMaker so loved his pigs, however, that instead of leaving them in their misery and self created garbage, he decided to come down from his dwelling beyond the stars and live among them and teach them how to love and take care of each other in their environment. He told them that he had made an entirely new world - a place with many pastures of beautiful green grass and towering trees and flowers of all kinds, especially for them - for he loved them very much - and that he had intended for them to live with him for always, beyond the end of time. He told them that it was not very hard to get to that pasture - 'I will take good care of you' - he told them. All they had to do was to love each other. Treat each other with respect and unselfishly share their portions from the trough out of which they received their daily swill. And to forgive each other their hoggish attitudes. He told them that, since he knew that by themselves they would never be able to stop their hoggish behavior, he would make a deal with them. An agreement(*): If they would confess the error of their ways, if they would begin to realize how much he loved them, he could help them change their behavior pattern and give them a new attitude. He told them that, when the time would come for them to of their passing to the other place, they would be just the right size to fit through the gate - 'for the path is narrow and the gate is small' - he told them.
But, … you know how pigs are …, they were so overcome by their carnal appetite and desire for ever more swill that they got very mad at the Maker of the Stars and kicked him with their little hooves and spat upon him … and left him to die(*)!
StarMaker then retreated from them. However, ... Powerful and Loving that he is ..., he continued to fill their trough abundantly with swill every day. And, ... you know how pigs are ..., for them it continued to be business as usual: every pig for himself and, as before, many pigs became real hogs. They became fatter and fatter and became addicted to more and more swill.
They really loved their swill, those greedy little pigs!
StarMaker, meanwhile, was keeping a lookout for those little pigs that, having heard of the love of the Starmaker, began to open up their little hearts so his love could come in and help them overcome their hog nature. Some started sharing their swill with others, freely and generously. Some were so moved by StarMaker's love that, rather than be overly concerned with the daily swill gathering,- 'there are so many who need to hear, but so few who speak' he had said so many years ago -, they began to tell other pigs, near and far, about the love of the Starmaker and the good tidings of the new pastures. And sure enough, when their time of passing came it turned out that they were indeed just the right size to fit through the gate.
Some of those converted little pigs, however, had become so used to their large portions of swill that they had a very hard time cutting down on their diet. After studying the history of StarMaker in the book he had given them they decided that 10% would be the limit of their gratitude and they would try to reduce their intake of swill by that much. They felt very good about themselves for doing that and continued heartily to fill themselves with more and more swill and their behavior was scarcely discernable from that of those hogs that had flat out rejected the love offering of the Starmaker.
StarMaker looked upon them sadly as he watched them getting fatter and fatter for he knew that the gate to the promised pastures was definitely not getting any wider! Long ago, when he lived among them, he had spoken these words very clearly: 'fat hogs shall hardly enter into my eternal pastures'. Those poor little pigs, addicted as they were to their swill, told themselves: 'we do not understand these particular words of StarMaker, but one day as we stand before the gate to the entrance of the eternal pastures we will understand'. As indeed they would, in desperation and anger, … when it would be TOO LATE!
Some pigs were lucky: they were skinny. They had been pushed away many times at the trough and had never gotten used to too much swill. Stronger ones, well under way to becoming fat, who, through circumstances, had become severely limited in their ability to fight for swill, started realizing the enormous advantage of this handicap in view of their eventual passage through the gate of promise. After their intake had become reduced they had suddenly become aware of the tremendously addictive power of the swill. For some reason this awareness had been totally clouded(*) while under unbridled surrender to the feeding frenzy. StarMaker had said: 'do not be engaged in storing large portions of swill, because worms will devour it and hogs will steal it from you. Instead, be concerned with collecting treasures in my eternal pastures, where they will remain uncorrupted and hogs have no access'.
Then, one day, it was the last day for the little planet. There was a tremendous panic among fat hogs of all denominations. Where is the security of our long term investments in the swill market? Where is the protection of our expensive hog-pens? Where can we go to find refuge in our luxurious transports on these clogged highways? Where do we find fuel for our lamps to find our way in the darkness that surrounds us? How will we find the gate to the promised pastures?
In the midst of their desperate and chaotic exodus there was a constant throng of skinny and medium sized pigs marching and singing to the tunes of wonderful music, their path brightly lit by lanterns, their backs unburdened by swill-generated fat. Their march was steady and unwavering, passing over a narrow ledge, leading to a small but clearly marked gate. And, as they passed through the gate they heard the voice of StarMaker: '…Welcome Home!
Just as the last little pigs passed through the gate and the shimmering reality of existence(*), with all its illusionary glitter began to collapse, a multitude of hogs started piling up outside the gate, pushing and hogging as they were wont to do. As the gate was closing on this immensely sad spectacle and the light was slowly fading, a desperate voice rang out: 'Oh, StarMaker, did you not notice my limited diet? Was I not a faithful little hog in the big pen I helped build in your honor?
And StarMaker spoke these fateful words: 'I have no idea who you are! My pastures were not prepared for fat hogs like you!'
And the gate was CLOSED FOREVER ....... Stargate-SG0
Saturday, April 30, 1994
| Background Information
I wrote this parable while attending Calvary Church* in Charlotte, NC. I had lost my job several years before and, despite attempts to make a living as a self employed computer programmer, feared that I was on a perilous financial downslide into an abyss of poverty and despair. When I finally admitted to myself that only God (see Testimony) would be able to help me He showed me so clearly that He could be trusted at his word that I had no other choice than to completely rely on his promise of assistance. For about a year since that moment I had been attending Calvary Church and during that time I thoroughly studied the Bible for the first time in my life. The idea of the parable came to me one day during bible study in Sunday school when the subject of 'the rich shall hardly enter the kingdom of heaven' was discussed. The general consensus appeared to be that 'the rich' lived elsewhere.
* Calvary Church, also known as the 'Pink Palace', was built at a cost of $ 36,000.000.00
The moral of this story is NOT that Calvary Church is filled with pigs, but rather that rich Christians run a severe risk to misappropriate their blessings because they misunderstand the purpose of their wealth.