Being the inquisitive person that I am, of course I looked it up online. Yes, you can hypnotize a chicken this way. Honest to goodness, I am not joking here. Technically it is not hypnotism, but something called 'tonic immobility', or a state of near paralysis when they feel threatened. For some reason when it is lying down, as it watches that line being drawn it causes it to go into this catatonic state, unable to move or respond. Watching the movie, when Clark Gable said that seemingly throw away line, "that is why some people stay in ruts", it really struck me. How we are like that rooster. We see this line drawn and we become immobilized, or stuck in a rut. We become so hypnotized by the mundane routine, by the sameness of every day that we go into a tonic immobility and are unable to get out of it. It takes being waken up from that state to move forward in life. It means lifting our eyes from that line on the ground and looking up. We are meant for more than being in that rut, for more than being like that hamster on that wheel, just going round and round and not getting anywhere. We are meant for a glorious destiny and a joyful life.
Doesn't it seem, especially as we get older that each day runs into the next, each week is the same as the one before. Get up, go to work, go to school, get home, do housework, yardwork, go to sleep, wake up do it all over again. Stuck in a rut. Caught in this tonic immobility, this fear initiated response, certain that it all just leads to death. Oh, dear friend, we are meant for so much more than this!! We fear from the time that we can reason that it all just ends one day. That this is all there is. In a rut, caught in the web of just making do, wondering if this is all there is. To be honest, without Jesus in your life, that is all there is.
He came to give us life, and that life abundantly (John 10:10). To take another scripture a bit out of context, but it does apply, 2 Corinthians 1:8b-10a, " We were under a burden far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, we felt we were under the sentence of death, in order that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril..." (Berean Study Bible). God, through Jesus Christ has delivered us from such a deadly peril...not only giving us eternal life, but giving us abundant life here on earth. He has delivered us so that we can live joyful lives. Hopeful lives. Extravagant lives! Oh, I am so tired of being tired. I am so tired of living in that rut. I am so tired of making it through one day to wake up the next already exhausted and dreading what routine boredom the day holds. We were made for more than this! I am speaking to myself here. We were made for glorious, amazing things! We were made in His image. When we received Jesus we started on the path of becoming like Him. We become filled with His Spirit and receive all the wisdom, knowledge and comfort that that provides. Yet here we live these prosaic lives. We act like we are ordinary people, living humdrum lives. We are not ordinary, we are His! We are extraordinary! We are made in His image. We were made for more than the commonplace, for more than the banal. We were made for great exploits, even if those great exploits seem to 'just' mean raising our children in Godly homes and bringing His good news to others. We act as if we are still, as it says in that verse in 2 Corinthians, under a burden far beyond our ability to endure. We have been freed from that burden. We have been shown the path of life as I wrote about last week in Psalm 16:11, that path that leads to fullness of joy and pleasures forever. And in that new life, old things are gone, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new," 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV). What was, is no longer. Our sin has been washed away. Our lives become transformed as it says in Romans 12:2, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind," (ESV). As we lift our eyes off the ground and up to His glorious grace, we step out of that worn path, out of that rut. We no longer belong to this old threadbare world, but we become His and we walk in a new path, a new way. Our spirit is renewed by His Spirit, our mind is renewed by His word, our lives are changed!
The thing is, how do we live in that every day? How do we maintain that zeal for living, how do we continue to walk in that joy day after day? We do that by seeking Him daily. Psalm 63:1-3 says it so beautifully, "God—you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you! I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God, traveling across dry and weary deserts. So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open, drinking in your strength and glory. In your generous love I am really living at last!" (MSG) In His presence, in His love we are no longer in that rut, we are no longer in that state of tonic immobility; fearing death, but fearing life more. We are fully alive. The way to stay in that place every day, the way to live life fully every day, is to remember where we came from. As the verse in Psalms above says, we traveled across dry and weary deserts. Let the remembrance of that drive you to work up hunger and thirst for God. Let the memory of those wagon trail ruts across the desert of your life before Jesus drive you to drink deeply of Him. To fill yourself with His word. To rise each day with that desire for Him before you and that dry desert place behind you.
We will as those who trust in the Lord, as it says in Isaiah 40:31, "find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint," (NLT). They will soar like eagles! We will soar like eagles. No longer will we be those chickens hypnotized by that rut called life. We will be like that magnificent bird ascending into the heavens, rising above it all, in His strength, by His generous love!
Information on chicken hypnotism found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_hypnotism and http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/can-you-hypnotize-chicken-180949940/
and to see the chickens being hypnotized...come on, you know you're curious...copy and paste this link https://youtu.be/YgzLB2Qdu1U