The Hydroids of Life: Victory Series, Part 30 (Temptation)

HydroidsSea Firs

I was fortunate to see many sea creatures while visiting Milford Sound in New Zealand, but none of them have captivated my interest like the Sea Firs -- "treelike" structures otherwise known as Hydroids.

The name itself makes us think they are a dangerous kind of android, doesn't it? Something out there to capture us with evil intent. But when you look at these underwater bonsai trees with their seemingly delicate white leaves gently swaying in the ocean currents, you have to wonder how such beauty could ever be able to hurt anything.

Beneath their external beauty however, a beast indeed lurks! The Sea Fir is not a fir at all. And it's not a plant either! It is actually an animal, and a very hungry one!

At the tip of this beast's "branches" are polyps which shoot poisonous threads into the water, imprisoning any microscopic prey in their surroundings! And it is quite successful in attaining its goal. All the tiny organisms of the sea that are within its reach become lunch or supper, depending on the time of day!

Beauty is often deadly, especially if we let our guard down! Too often we lead dull lives on survival mode, which isn't even surviving at all! What is even more scary is that we accept this as completely normal, and this kind of monotonous existence often leads us into "hydroid" neighbourhood. The beauty overwhelms us, attracting us out of the monotony of our way of living, but before we know it we are entrapped and unable to break free. Sensuality, lust, drugs, work, power, religion, and anything else may seem alluring, but they are far from safe!

To be truthful, most of our deadened existence longs for a heightened level of stimulation to arouse it, and this leads, in return, to the imprisonment of our very soul. We are captured by vice, and its grip has forced us away from the One who can give us real life!

Isn't it sad that what many call "life", is really just the opposite? How can we call hurting others by our selfishness, "real life"? How can we call leading a dull life, "real life"?

There is only one way to experience real life and it's away from all these deadly hydroids that can warp our very thinking: "And so I insist - and God backs me up on this - that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They've refused for so long to deal with God that they've lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can't think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion." (Eph 4:17-19 The Message)

Deep down, once we are under the power of life's "hydroids", we know we have been duped. We feel disillusioned, deeply disappointed. But what else is there? And so we continue our dull living in a downward spiral with no hope in sight.

If only we could wake up and realize there is more to life than survival!

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10 NIV)

Real life is only possible if true love exists. But how is it even possible when so many people have ulterior motives? Everyone out there seem to be thinking of themselves first. But then one day a whisper reaches our ears, and we wonder if it is really true: "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken..." (Isa 54:10 NIV)

Is it possible that God loves me? How could He? I am such a failure and I have hurt so many people!

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13 NIV)

Only One did that for me, and He died on a cross. Only One, whose only ulterior motive was to grab me out of this silly, dull existence of vicious addictions, has loved me unconditionally. In fact, He wants to put me on a pedestal of utter freedom and admiration! Only One can fulfill the real desires of my heart!

"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart." (Ps 37:4 NIV)

All we truly need is God! He restores us from our false desires. Hunger for finite things grow dim in His presence as He fills us with such abundant love and adrenaline. He will never, ever forsake us. We have His undivided attention, and He calls us as His own sons and daughters. Imagine, we are royalty in His eyes! Who else treats us with such admiration?

"I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." (2 Cor 6:18 NIV)

Only when we fall on our knees and worship the One who truly loves us will we heal from our false desires. Only then will we experience what real living means. We are not servants of addictions! We are not living for mere survival! We are not born for defeat! We are here to shine! "You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world." (Matt 5:14 The Message)

I wonder if I could keep one of these hydroids in my salt-water aquarium?

Nah, maybe not the best idea!

Rob Chaffart

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