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From Serving the Wolf

When I was eight years old, I was dedicated to a wolf. When the other initiates and I had gathered around the wolf we cried out: “Ah-Kay-Lah, W-e-e-e’ll D-o-o-o, O-u-u-u-r BEST!” Then said one of Akela’s apprentices: “dyb dyb dyb dyb!” (Do your best!). To which we all chanted in response: “We’ll dob dob dob dob!” (We’ll do our best!). And then we were declared to be cub scouts, and introduced to the world of woggles and two-fingered salutes.

When I was eighteen, I was dedicated to a Lamb. But the ceremony was a little different. The “dyb dyb” part was not a religious call to work harder, but a question asked by the initiates: “Did You bleed?” “I mean, did You really bleed and die for me, the sinner?” And finding that it was true, that the Lamb of God had willingly given his life to take away the sin of the world, the response came willingly: “We’ll do our best”. And for the first time in my life, I meant it sincerely.

As far as I can remember my own cub heart, I had no intention in my scouting years of ever doing my best. I was simply happy to be part of the group, and the little chanting and saluting were all part of the fun. Come to think of it, a lot of religious practice can be described like that. Lots of saluting, but little sincerity. No surprise really. It’s simply the way of the wolf.

DM 5th May 2015


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