Of Shoes and Ships and Whether Pigs have Wings

Written By: Chris Mace
Of Shoes and Ships and Whether Pigs have Wings

Dreaming, Sullvian, Maine

We know little girls are made of “sugar and spice and everything nice,” but what do they think about? What size and shape are the ruminations of this pensive little girl as she dreamily looks down the path beyond the cottage garden to the little beach and the movement of the tide? Hopefully, her mind is filled with summer dreams and is uncluttered by the anxious messiness of less innocent minds which are drained of imagination.

Time does that; it saps the imagination. Waking moments are spent in self absorptive thoughts, pondering immediate needs, managing a sensually perceived world, and finding little if any time to ponder the abstract or transcendent. Thoughts of the ultimate are pushed to the back burner.

Undisciplined, unguarded minds are in danger of being like those of the little oysters in Lewis Carroll’s “The Walrus and the Carpenter.” Not at all street wise, those creatures were foolishly deceived by the idea of a pleasant walk with the Walrus and the Carpenter. During their meanderings, the selfish and sinister Walrus distracted them with fun, innocuous, meaningless pleasantries. “The time has come,” the Walrus said,/ “To talk of many things:/Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—/ Of cabbages—and kings—/And why the sea is boiling hot—/And whether pigs have wings.”

Then he devoured them!

Our world is a fantastic place. There are wonderful conversations to be had, many ideas and facts to be considered, substantial advice to be taken or discarded, much fun and joy to be experienced. Many possibilities and opportunities lie before us each day. Clearly, if we do not want to be like the vulnerable oysters or the unprincipled, complicit Carpenter, who avoided truth and even participated in the oyster holocaust, our minds must be informed and strongly grounded in valid ideas. Otherwise, we are in danger of being distracted, sucked in, and destroyed by meaningless philosophies and misadventures like the misguided, inattentive, undiscerning, and hoodwinked little creatures who were led to their demise.

We frame our life views around whether or not we believe life has meaning and if it does what gives it purpose. Scripture cautions about what we allow to beguile our minds and encourages us to fill them with “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8) It warns against spiritual scammers who cheat the mind and soul. “Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. (Colossians 2:8 (NLT2) Scripture also highlights the uttermost importance of seeking the reality of God and His Kingdom,( Matthew 6:33) and of trusting the truth of Christ above all else with an enduring faith: “…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, …Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” (Hebrews 12:2-3)

This world has plenty of Walruses and Carpenters who invite us to follow and invest our lives in their ideas. Considering the life and words of Christ will never lead one astray because they take us to God and His Kingdom. “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell…” (Colossians 1:19)


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