‘I have told you already and you did not listen.
Why do you want to hear it again?
Do you want to become his disciples too?’”
John 9:27 NIV
The first time I let my dog outside each morning – without fail – she bolts out the door and launches herself off the edge of our concrete patio. And It’s never just one leap; once she lands, she springs right into the next long jump until she’s reached the edge of our creek. It kind of reminds me of a gazelle. I had to google it because it’s such a funny thing to see.
Turns out it’s a real thing that some wild animals do. The very word pronk comes from an Afrikaans verb pronk-, which means show off or strut. It has the same linguistic derivation as our English verb prance. Researchers say that they suspect it’s a way of avoiding predators. It communicates something like “Hey, I’m very fit so don’t bother chasing me!” (Deborah Byrd / Earth)
I’m no scientist, but I’m 99% sure that my dog is just so stinking happy that she is literally leaping for joy. But, to be fair, I’m aware that she could be very intimidating to predators – introverted, cranky predators…
I read about someone in the the book of John a couple weeks ago that might be a real, documented case of spiritual pronking. John chapter 9 documents the account of a blind man who Jesus healed. The man, who had been blind from birth, ended up being the center of quite a ruckus. The Jewish leaders didn’t know how to maintain their persecution of Jesus AND simultaneously acknowledge this very real miracle, so they pulled the healed man aside to find a loophole.
24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.” 25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” 26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?” 28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind.33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.
Former blind guy (I wish I knew his name…) is TOTALLY pronking, right?!?! He’s got all the signs:
- Afrikaans verb pronk-, which means show off or strut / English verb prance. He was BLIND and now he CAN SEE. Of course there’s a strut or a prance to his step and his confidence is soaring. He’s got no time for these silly questions from the dinguses that just want to find fault with a miracle.
- A way of avoiding predators. It communicates something like “Hey, I’m very fit so don’t bother chasing me!“ Yep. Pharisees and Jewish leaders: good luck keeping up with a guy who was just HEALED BY GOD. You’ll have to just throw the guy out of the temple if you want to “win” your case. Not gonna catch your prey today.
What if we each could pronk like Former Blind Guy because we’ve been healed by God, too?! What would that look like in each of our unique, day-to-day circumstances today? Can I have so much joy about knowing God gave me understanding and sight that I strut, prance or leap with my words and actions? Can I share my confidence in God so clearly that predators don’t even put a dent in my day?
That’s my prayer for this week – that we can learn to pronk like FBG. God is real, so why shouldn’t our joy and confidence in him be that visible?
Share your stories of spiritual pronking below once you give this a try in your day!! I can’t wait to hear them!
Dear Lord, some days I let silly circumstances turn me into a dingus pharisee when I could be pronking around like FBG instead. Help me see the world through your perfect vision so that I can overflow with your joy, your peace, and your confidence in every circumstance. Amen.