This is a true story that shows the need and the power of true spiritual mothers and fathers.
A nationally syndicated columnist with the Washington Post recently wrote about the plight of the white rhinoceros in Pilanesberg Park, a South African game preserve. At least 39 of these endangered rhinos had been found slaughtered in their native habitat, and it was assumed that poachers were the killers of the remarkable beasts.
However, upon closer inspection it was discovered that all of the rhinos’ valuable horns remained among the carcasses. In an effort to catch the killers, the game wardens decided to tranquilize some of the remaining animals to electronically tag and track them. Hidden video cameras were also set in strategic locations to record the evidence.
Because the Kruger National Park was unable to support a continuously increasing population of elephants, park officials had decided to transport some of them to the Pilanesberg Preserve. The elephants too large to transport were killed, including a significant number of mature bulls. As a result, the elephants that were guilty of killing the rhinos matured without the influence and presence of mature males. Park rangers and scientists discovered that without the older presence of mature bulls, these young male elephants were suffering from excessive testosterone and becoming increasingly violent.
To preserve the white rhino population, park officials killed five of the most aggressive young bull elephants while determining to find a suitable answer for this aberration of nature. Park rangers decided to import older bulls in order to view their influence on the remaining young males. The young bulls learned quickly that they were no match for the more mature elephants. The older bulls began to assume their place among the herd as fathers and disciplinarians.
The younger, aggressive bulls could no longer impose their unchallenged, immature bullying. Eventually the young bulls began following the older ones. It became apparent that they enjoyed these new relationships with the older, more mature males. The former lawbreakers yielded to the new discipline and returned to normal patterns of elephant behavior. There has not been a report of any dead rhinos since the arrival of the more mature elephants.
This is a parable of life in the church. The absence of mature leadership in the church results in similar consequences. When mature Christian men and women do not assume their responsibility, the younger, more energetic and yet immature ones take their places. These leaders are not equipped for the task that lies before them.