Thursday, September 4, 2008

Lessons from a dead squirrel

Yes, you read the title correctly. I was driving to my brothers house the other day minding my own business which was paying attention to where I was going on the road. My intention was to stay between the lines. When I came upon this squirrel who was a bit flittery, tail twitching. He was all the way across the road heading to my left. He was safe, out of harms way. But I could tell he was nervous, indecisive. His instincts were telling him it was safer to flee back the way he came, which meant he had to cross the road again, in front of me. It happened so fast, yet I knew he was going to try to make it. But the thump, thump I felt underneath my car and the last view I had of him or her was of a tumbling squirrel told me he made it back across the road, but not alive, at least not for long. That squirrel was operating on instinct only. If he had reason and logic to work with maybe he would have realized that where he was at he was safe and would have remained there. But alas, God didn't give him anything more than instinct. While instinct does keep animals alive longer, it doesn't always. Might I add, neither does reason. People often have good reasons to do stupid things, like ride a skateboard down a railing and wonder why the pavement is so hard when they hit it with their forehead or ride a crotch-rocket popping a wheely with the front tire or standing on the seat rather than straddling it. The Lord knows, and so do those who know me, I have done many a stupid thing. But I had good reason.
That squirrel reminds me of people, including myself who live for the moment, who don't plan and think through wha tthey are doing. So they react to lifes pressures rather than respond to them. They act on instinct rather than reason. So here are the lessons I want to point out:
1. Don't always count on your instinct to get you safely through. As with the squirrel it can sometimes steer you wrong. Don't try to fly an airplane through a cloud on instinct. Use the compass and instrument panel. In our case, let God guide you with the scriptures. Life can be foggy at times, instinct will get you into trouble, but depending on and obeying the scriptures will see you through.
2. If you have to go back the way you came, look both ways before you cross. In other words, have good reason and think it through.
3. If you have to cross the road in the first place keep on going and don't look back. Indecision is worse than no decision. Among horse trainers, the thinking is that a horse with sticky feet, that is, those who don't want to move their feet, are the ones who will explode. If you keep their feet moving then you can work through the issues bothering them. But they have to have that forward movement. It is so among us humans too. Indecision is like having sticky feet, but if you decide and move on you can at least be moving and make the changes if your decision wasn't the best one.
4. Some things are outside your control. I could not stop that squirrel from dashing under my car anymore than I could stop the sun from rising. It was in the cards, so to speak. Although that is a simplified way of saying that God divinely appointed it. After all, Jesus reminds us that not even a sparrow can fall to the ground without Him knowing it. Are you not more important to God than a sparrow? (Matthew 10:29,30). But that was digression. My point is that you simply have to go on and deal with what you cannot control and not worry about it. So my life intersected with a squirrel that day. His ended and mine goes on. Yes, I was sad. I hate to have that happen. But I can't brood about it. Learn the lessons and move on. No sense in crying over spilt milk, clean it up and move.
There are probably more lessons to learn from that experience but that will be for another blog, maybe.
Until then,
Stay between the ears!
Pastor Jeff
matt. 6:33

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