Maryland blue crabs are crazy, ravenous creatures! Throw anything that resembles food into the water and they swarm to the location, consuming what they can while jostling for position. In their eyes, they are the bottom line—Numero Uno. No one else matters. And when threatened in any way, those pain-inflicting pinchers aggressively come up in defense. It makes perfect sense that the word “crab” is synonymous for mean and crotchety.
The thing about crabs is that they don’t get along especially well with one another. If you happen to see locals out catching crabs, you’ll notice that they often use bushel baskets. After catching more than one ornery crustacean, they don’t worry about putting the lid back on the basket, even though the last thing they want is for a crab to latch on to their toes. Every time that a crab tries to climb out of that basket, you can be sure than another will pull it back in.
Any crab with a brain would conspire with the others to work out an escape plan. They’d need only to allow one to reach the rim of the basket, giving a slight heave ho to help the others out. And the crabbers? Their feet would soon be mincemeat! It won’t happen, of course, because crabs don’t grasp the concepts of honoring others or seeking the common good. Every crab is its own god.
When Adam and Eve fell prey to the zombie conspiracy by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they were looking after their own interests. When they attempted to redirect blame for their own actions, they were putting themselves first. When they hid in the shadows in shame, neither was concerned about the welfare of the other. Desiring to be like God apart from God is all about looking out for Number One—i.e. self-deification.
In spite of claims to the contrary, there can only be one Number One. Fans will always prefer a sudden death playoff over co-champions. A tie is never sufficient, for glory and power are not easily shared. That’s just the way it is.
When each living human seeks to be the center of the universe, conflict is the result. When each living human seeks to control his/her own life and the lives of others, conflict is the result. When each living human climbs higher in a personal quest for glory above all others, you guessed it, conflict is the result. As these things happen on the playing field, we call it entertainment. It is nothing short of tragic, however, when real life is marred by discord and violence.
We may sound a universal cry for peace, but it will never happen without violating someone’s free will, for the will never ceases to lift itself above all others. In a world where every person is a god you can be sure that every day will carry a conflict. Increasing measures of narcissism (self-deification) in our cultures means increased contention. As a result, the only way to enable people to get along is by passing more laws in an attempt to govern outward behavior.
Only the true Gospel of Jesus Christ can truly free us from our narcissistic tendencies without destroying our freedom in the process. A humanistic gospel, on the other hand, will be characterized by anti-virtues such as elitism, control, and contention; making life just plain crabby.
Personally, I have tasted the peace of the Gospel and I can’t help but find myself longing for more.