Episode 6: Eye Of The Tiger

Episode 6: Eye Of The Tiger

Eye of the Tiger

In his book The Song of the Bird, Anthony de Mello relates the story of the tiger and the disabled fox. Some people have the view of spirituality as mostly sitting and waiting on God. The problem is that if God only acted directly, why would I need others?

It’s my experience that most often the way God provides for me is through other people who have shared their love, generosity, and support with me. God has used “the tigers” in my life to bless me time and time again.

If God tells me to follow the example of the tiger, then I need to get on with life, to LIVE life day by day. I need to be alert to the needs of others – to have the eye of the tiger. I need to be willing to open myself up to other people, to be willing to receive from them, which is an act of radical trust in God and the humanity that God chooses to work through.


Listen to the episode below, or continue on to read the transcript.



Eye of the Tiger

In his book The Song of the Bird, Anthony de Mello relates this story: “A man walking through the forest saw a fox that had lost its legs and wondered how it lived. Then he saw a tiger come in with game in its mouth. The tiger had its fill and left the rest of the meat for the fox. The next day God fed the fox by means of the same tiger. The man began to wonder at God’s greatness and said to himself, ‘I too shall just rest in a corner with full trust in the Lord and he will provide me with all I need.’ He did this for many days but nothing happened, and he was almost at death’s door when he heard a voice say, ‘O you who are in the path of error, open your eyes to the truth! Follow the example of the tiger and stop imitating the disabled fox.’”

Some people have the view of spirituality as mostly sitting and waiting on God. “It’s just you and me, God,” they say.  “God will provide. I just need to have enough faith in order to experience God’s intervention.” The problem with this kind of spiritual model is that it leads to isolationism. If God only acted directly, why would I need others?

Trust in God or the Universe is not just sitting in a corner trying to convince yourself that you will be provided for by simply having enough faith. It’s my experience that most often the way God provides for me is through other people who have shared their love, generosity, and support with me. God has used “the tigers” in my life to bless me time and time again.

If God tells me to follow the example of the tiger, then I need to get on with life, to LIVE life day by day. Like the tiger, I need to be alert to the needs of others – to have the eye of the tiger. I need to be willing to open myself up to other people, to be willing to receive from them, which is an act of radical trust in God and the humanity that God chooses to work through. I need to be non-judgemental.

One of the obstacles we often face with loving and forgiving is our tendency to judge people. In our story, the tiger gives food to the disabled fox without condemning or judging the fox. The tiger saw the need and without judgment gave of its own abundance. Divine love and forgiveness are always without conditions. They are simply given, no strings attached. That’s why it’s called grace.

Effective spirituality is like the tiger in our story. It means taking what feeds us and sharing it with hungry people. And the truth is, everyone in our circles of relationship is hungry in some way.

A small boy about ten years old was standing before a shoe-shop, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold. A lady in a chauffeur-driven Mercedes, observed the little boy and immediately ordered the driver to stop. The richly dressed lady alighted from the car, went quickly to the boy, and said: “Young man, why are you looking so earnestly in that window?” “I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,” was the reply. The lady took him by the hand and went into the store and asked the proprietor if she could wash the boy’s feet. She took the boy to the back of the store, and, removing her gloves, knelt, washed those little-feet and dried them with the towel. She then asked the proprietor for a pair of socks for the boy. Placing the socks upon his feet, she purchased and gave him a pair of shoes, and a further 5 pairs of socks. She patted on the head said: “I hope, young man, that you now feel more comfortable.” As she turned to go, the astonished lad caught her hand, and looking up in her face, with tears in his eyes, answered her question with these words: “Are you God’s wife?

In the Bible, St Pauls says: And my God will fulfil all your needs out of the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Jesus tells us: Think of the ravens. They do not sow or reap; they have no storehouses and no barns; yet God feeds them. And how much more you are worth than the birds!

How can you follow the example of the tiger today?

Look for the silver lining.

 

This is Terry Lees

[Music: Eye of the Tiger – Survivor]