Dead or Alive? The Choice is Yours!

PrintA woman looked out the window of her home and was horrified to see her German Shepherd shaking the life out of the neighbor’s pet rabbit. Her family had been quarreling with these neighbors; this was certainly going to make matters worse.

She grabbed a broom and ran outside, pummeling the pooch until he dropped the rabbit now covered with dog-spit—and extremely dead.

What was she going to do?  

The woman lifted the rabbit with the end of the broom and brought it into the house. She dumped its lifeless body into the bathtub and turned on the shower. When the water running off the rabbit was clean, she rolled him over and rinsed the other side.

Now she had a plan. She found her hair-dryer and blew the rabbit dry. Using an old comb, she groomed the rabbit until he looked pretty good. Then, when the neighbor wasn’t looking, she hopped over the fence, sneaked across the back yard, and propped him up in his cage. No way was she taking the blame for this thing!

About an hour later, she heard screams coming from the neighbor’s yard. She ran outside, pretending she didn’t know what was going on.  Her neighbor came running to the fence. All the blood had drained from her face. “Our rabbit, our rabbit!” she blubbered. “He died two weeks ago, we buried him, and now he’s back!”

A funny story unless you feel like the rabbit.

Had the neighbor poked the rabbit or tried to play with him, she would have known the truth. Playing with a fluffed-up dead rabbit isn’t much fun.

The same is true with fluffed-up dead people. One of the disadvantages of living in an affluent society—meaning most of us—is that it’s too easy to get dead and buried before we’re dead and buried. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Many men die at 25 and aren’t buried until they are 75.”

We clutch our possessions and social status tightly. We’re afraid to take risks, stand out in a crowd, or do anything that could make us look different. In a world of people whose first priority is to maintain the status quo, simply looking alive can sometimes seem too dangerous.

I once spoke with a news anchor who hated nearly every aspect of his job. When I asked him why he didn’t quit, he said he’d come too far to turn back now. To search for something more significant in life would mean taking a pay cut and relinquishing the perks of his job. So every day he gets up and heads for a job he hates, so he won’t lose what he’s gained.  He’s not alone.  All over America people remain in jobs they hate so they can buy stuff they don’t need to impress people who don’t care.

And just what has my friend gained?   It sounds like a fluffed up-dead rabbit to me.

God created you for so much more than that. Could it be time for you to take a deep breath and really live again?

Take some risks. God’s plan for your life never was never about being safely propped up in a cage. I’ve met dozens of people who finally trusted God and made their escapes. Some changed jobs; some changed attitudes; some took the initiative to live out their convictions.

Some of those people are living with fewer financial resources than previously, but they’re experiencing an excitement, renewed faith and joy they never knew was possible. They’re alive.

If you feel like you’ve been shaken, hosed off and propped up to dry, chances are it’s time to take a look around you. God wants you to live.  Take a chance.  Trust him.  People will be delighted and amazed that you’re back. Most of all, you will be amazed that you are back.

“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Eliot

[reminder]What kind of bunny are you?  What kind do you want to be?[/reminder]


  1. We must never forget that God gave us all the tools that we need in order to live. The first tool is the life repair manual, a book called The Holy Bible. The second tool he gave us is the ability to laugh, for without laughter we are truly the walking dead. The third tool is the ability to love and to be loved, because, when we love those see us truly see the face of God.

  2. Another great post, Ken. Dramatic changes don’t have to happen overnight and often changes don’t have to be dramatic to make a big difference in how alive one is living. If you are a propped up dead rabbit, just taking away the dog may have a profound effect on your attitude.

    We do indeed have a choice on whether to live dead or alive, but smaller changes may have the same effect if we choose to let them. In fact, I’ve found one of the biggest catalysts to living is simply gratitude. Nothing else changes but the way we see things–with hearts of thanksgiving.

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