Today’s post is by a cousin/friend of mine, the Pastor of my facebook church. You can call her Berry.
The story is told of an Arab and his camel crossing the desert. Night came,and the temperature being cold,the Arab put up his tent,tied the camel to it, and sat down in it. After a little while,the temperature became colder. The camel gently thrust his nose under the flap and looked in. “Master”, he said,
“let me put my nose in your tent, It’s cold and stormy out here”. By all means, the Arab agreed, “you’re welcome. But you may put only your nose in,because the tent is small and there is no room for two.” And having said that, the Arab turned over and went to sleep.
The camel’s nose became warm and after a while the temperature went down even more. Hearing noises, the Arab awoke to discover the camel had put not only his nose in the tent,but his head and neck also. Upon seeing the Arab had awoken,the camel,who had been turning his head from side to side said, “I will take but little room if I place my forelegs within the tent. It is difficult standing out here.”
“Yes,” the Arab reluctantly agreed , “you may put your forelegs within. But just your forelegs and no more” And so the Arab moved a little to make room, for the tent was really small.
Beginning to feel at home, the camel thought what a great comfort it would be if he could get his hind legs in as well. So he said to the Arab, “May I not stand wholly inside? I keep the tent open by standing as I do. Besides, my hind legs are freezing, and if I keep them out here for the night,I may not be able to make the journey tomorrow with frozen legs.”
Yes, yes, said the Arab, “Come wholly inside. Perhaps it will be better for both of us.” So the camel crowded in,and the Arab with difficulty in the crowded quarters, again went to sleep. When he woke up the next time,he found himself out in the cold,and the camel had the tent to himself.
‘The camel’s nose’ is used as a metaphor for a situation where permitting some small in desirable situation will allow gradual and unavoidable worsening.– Wikipedia
And as funny as this fable may seem,we are all like the Arab in diverse ways. We all have, at one point or the other, allowed things to begin or happen that shouldn’t have, or allowed them to go on for longer than necessary. Your camel’s nose can be a bad habit (laziness, procrastination, overspending, smoking,drinking), certain people in your life, certain thoughts you entertain, or even some inactions on your part. From the onset,we do not see the imminent dangers in these acts because they seem like such small things. Surely,just one more smoke or drink will not cause that much harm? One more act of procrastination or laziness will not destroy everything? So you keep going with ‘just one more’, and before you know it you’re hooked or in too deep, way over your head.
It all begins in a very unassuming manner, and you will NEVER guess where it will end. When the camel GENTLY thrust its head in and made its request, who would have thought then it intended to keep more than its nose warm? Same with the little acts that, like little drops, end up becoming a waterfall.
Or maybe your camel is a person who keeps drawing on your acts of kindness and leniency till they begin to walk all over you and end up believing they are entitled to it. Each time you promise yourself you won’t cave in anymore and there will be no next time but like the Arab, you’re so moved by the humble petition of the camel in your life that you relent and grant its desire, although you know allowing them to have their way does you more harm than good. Human camels target the very things that are exclusive and simply cannot be shared. We all have that one person who takes us for granted, who keeps coming back for more and does not know when to stop just because you are nice to them at one point. They will milk you dry if you do not learn to say ‘enough’ when you have truly had enough. They will boldly take an ell when you have granted them only an inch and you will be left looking on helplessly, or worse, kicked out in the cold while they enjoy the fruits of your labour or set about destroying everything you’ve worked hard for and which is so dear to you.
They may look helpless or harmless in the beginning, but camel people and things are not to be pitied. They will deprive you of your health,freedom, liberty, comfort…the basic things that make life worthwhile to you. It seems to me those are the only things your camel targets; those that bring you joy and comfort. Camels must be stopped before they or their acts degenerate into unthinkable things and destroy everything else. They are, plainly put, parasites you’d be better off living without, more like a ‘percher’ who takes over your bed with their visitors,leaving you stranded when you want to take a nap.
You do not have to wait to be out in the cold before you realise this was what the camel intended to do all along. Refusing to give in to camel people may go a long way to teach them to earn their keep, acquire things by and do things for themselves, and stopping camel things from gaining a foothold will definitely be one of the best things you do for yourself. Who knows, but that your camel, after finding himself back in the cold,will learn how to set up his own tent and lie in it the next time,and maybe even come back to thank you for having forced them to liberate themselves?
What is that thing or person that is the camel’s nose in your tent or life?
‘It is a wise rule to resist the beginnings of evil’ -Anon.
You must stand your guard,put your foot down. It’s a ‘dog eat dog’ world out there,and sometimes it does not pay to be polite or considerate,especially when u can see someone has purposed to destroy you. In issues of this nature it is only with determination you will succeed.’A journey of a thousand miles’,they say,’begins with but a step.’ For want of a nail…the war was lost. Fix that little nail before it causes you to lose the bigger war. Get that camel’s nose out of your tent. DO IT NOW!