Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog.
Many of us are familiar with these beloved cartoon characters that were created many years ago by master cartoonist and animator, Chuck Jones. Here is a classic episode.
On Saturday mornings, this was one of the many cartoons that I watched. Although I found it amusing, I was also bewildered. Why would two adults who were polite friends outside of the workplace, suddenly become hotly competitive and hostile toward each other, jockeying for a superior position at the expense of the other in the workplace? Surely there are no adults who behave like this?
Life does brutally strip away our naivete. When I was in college, I encountered the pre-med syndrome. Some of my fellow pre-med students would do anything to get ahead. To obtain that prized recommendation from a famous professor, they subtly cast aspersions upon their fellow students, all with the implicit purpose of making themselves look good by pushing down the reputation of others. It continued in medical school and residency and those who were inculcated with the doctrine of the pre-med syndrome could not let it go. There were games played during patient rounds, allegations that a particular diagnostic test was not ordered because another resident dropped the ball. It still continues in the workplace. A critical invitation to an important meeting inadvertently leaves off a key individual from the email list. Credit for a successful project overlooks the key players.
While these nefarious schemes are occurring, the perpetrators smile at one another with the verbal reassurance that they must work together in support since all are in the trenches together. I never believed that Ralph and Sam could turn off their animosity toward one another simply because the workday ends. The polite smiles and domestic bliss concealed their clandestine actions of inserting a knife into each other’s backs. With imperceptible precision, their weapons of slander and sabotage were positioned until the key moment when the vital organs could be struck and their victims slaughtered.
…For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.
John 6:64 (ESV)
Ralph and Sam.
Some painful life lessons keep repeating. How many hours of wasted time and effort are spent seeking to tear others down instead of developing ways to model and encourage godly behavior? Thanks be to God that He shows us a better way by giving us a Savior. Jesus Christ endured the same type of schemings of men, even by Judas, one of His own disciples. He allowed Himself to be led to the Cross to die and then be resurrected by God. He showed us a more excellent way to live our life by confessing and repenting of our sins and accepting Him as our Lord and Savior. Following Jesus Christ allows us to move beyond the false pretenses and the futile mind games that can paralyze us. We were created to live a life so much richer and fulfilling than Ralph and Sam.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.