Dodo’s and religion, how comfort leads to death

The Dodo, according to natural historians, was once a flighted bird, something similar perhaps to a pigeon. In flight one day some of these proto dodo’s are thought to have been caught up in a storm, and swept across the sea to the paradisical island of Mauritius.

This beautiful island was indeed a seeming promised land for the dodo, so much so that the first birds to arrive felt there really was no sense in going anywhere else. There were no predators, no foxes, rats or cats, and plenty of food to be had. A delightful place for a bird of ‘little brain’.

To use its wings was no longer necessary, indeed it was dangerous, what would happen if another storm blew up, the birds could be blown away from this lovely place! So the birds stayed on their feet, and gradually, over succesive generations the birds lost the use of their wings. They became fat, slow, and very very comfortable.

One day a Portuguese ship found Mauritius, it was just the first of many boats to land there, bringing with them men, rats, dogs and cats. The Dodo’s days were numbered.

Those silly fat comfortable birds had no way of dealing with the difficulties that were to befall them, if they had not liked their comfort so much they may not have lost the use of their wings…

To go the way of the Dodo is a well known phrase, as well all know what happened to the Dodos in the end, not one single Dodo remains today.

I’m not suggesting that the church is about to be made extinct, after all that prediction has been made many times, and has yet to be realised. But I do think that there is a lesson to be learned from the Dodo, comfort is not necessarily our friend, having nothing to strive against means to lose our ability to strive.

Christianity does not belong in the place of comfort, it belongs in the margins, the hard places, the uncomfortable places, where it can stay lean, hungry, ready to exercise its wings.


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