Friday, February 26, 2016

Beatrice Potter and other rabbit ramblings

Growing up I absolutely loved The Tale of Samuel Whiskers. It was one of the many delightful narratives in the Tales of Beatrix Potter. I don't remember how old I was when I was first introduced to the Beatrix Potter video series, all I remember is the deep affection I had for those clunky VHS tapes. I loved Samuel Whiskers. I loved Peter Rabbit. I loved Timmy Tiptoes. I loved Benjamin Bunny. I even loved the lame opening credits of my beloved video collection which included a European inspired cottage, a woman in long, flowing garments sipping a cup of tea and of course, a rabbit.
Looking back on those videos makes me smile. The cinematography was certainly nothing extraordinary. The animation, in comparison to today's Avatar and Frozen, was elementary. But what would you expect from a 1992 video series produced by BBC? It was sweet and simple and that's what made them so endearing. And for me, truly inspiring.
Thanks to Beatrix Potter I fell in love with rabbits. Fifteen years later and that love affair still captured my heart, as evidenced by the twenty bunnies that inhabited by back yard. Pet rabbits, not wild. But that's a whole story onto itself.
Back to Beatrix.
Beatrix Potter and the tales of rambunctious animated animals had an effect on who I became. I became a lover of rabbits, English cottages and, of course, the elegance of English accents. I was forever influenced by the scenes and plots I viewed as a young child. The entertainment I put in as an impressionable youngster had lasting effects.
This principle has remained true long past my childhood. I am forever absorbing the influences that surround me like a sponge soaking up water.
As human sponges we are constantly faced with decisions about which pool of water to jump into. Even after our childhood VHS days have passed we are still impressionable. We cannot choose to stop being a sponge. It is part of being human. But we can choose what we will soak up.
Now that my days of Beatrix Potter have passed I must decide what I will let pour into me and what I will choose to influence my life, thoughts and actions. Every day I must choose to turn away from destructive, evil, insidious influences and open the Bible and be influenced and shaped by the word of God. If I hope to have the love of Christ pour out of me I must soak in the infallible truth of the everlasting word.
Just as Beatrix Potter influenced me to love bunnies, God's Word will do more than influence my actions, it will transform my heart, making me more like Christ each day.

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