(The part of Blitzen will be played today by Winston)

My daughter Emma received a pet rabbit for her ninth birthday.  When she was asking for suggestions during the naming process, I suggested Hasenpfeffer.  For those aren’t familiar with northern European cuisine – or whose childhoods weren’t disproportionally influenced by Bugs Bunny – you’re probably not aware that hasenpfeffer is a German stew with rabbit as the main ingredient.  Even without this valuable piece of information Emma opted for the name Oreo because the rabbit is black and white.  A strong attraction to cookies is obviously an inherited trait.

We also have a dog.  He’s a beagle mixed with something else, probably a hound of some sort.  We named him Winston not only because his primary breed has British origins, but also because our family’s lineage is half American (me) and half British (Vanda).  Winston Churchill’s mother was American, so this name was a good fit for a beagle in our household. 

We knew that the Brits had bred beagles to be hunters but didn’t bother to check out what they hunted until after Oreo had joined our family.  You guessed it . . . rabbits.  Winnie’s reaction at first seeing Oreo was his reaction to most things not readily identified as either food or as another dog within about a thousand yards of our home.  He didn’t move a muscle.  Since they would be sharing a home together we thought it would be best to introduce them more closely. 

Beagles were bred to hunt rabbits, but Winnie hadn’t been trained to hunt them.  We weren’t sure what his reaction would be so we cautiously held Oreo near him.  One good sniff and Winnie’s apathy quickly turned to fascination.  For weeks after that first sniff when Winnie would see her in her cage he’d whine a bit.  Then he’d put his front paws on the table that her cage was on and doggedly sniff her to satisfy his olfactory curiosity. 

I wonder what was going on in his brain.  There was something about the rabbit that attracted Winnie.  He was intrigued by her but didn’t know why or what he was supposed to do about it.  Now he’s used to having Oreo around, and the attraction is almost gone.  The attraction that he was born with wasn’t fostered and it disappeared.  He got used to ignoring his instincts and they faded.

This is an excerpt from Chapter 2.  It’s about why some Christians accept a low-level of attraction to Jesus because of artificial limits set on how they are permitted to relate to him.  Comments why this thought is valid or invalid are helpful.  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.


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