Saturday, March 23, 2013

Dead Squirrels

Everyone can associate with the squirrel on the road. You know the one that dodges, darts, and dashes to get from one side to the next for no apparent reason. For the last few weeks, one of those gray, furry creatures would run in front of my car on a small side road on my way to work. This week, he juked when he should have jived and met his end.

As I drove by him on the road, I considered his brief life. His ‘home’ was on the side of the road surrounded by dozens of wooded acres with no homes, cars, or roads, everything he could possibly need or want to live a happy life. He would run to the other side of the road, which is a walled subdivision. It reminds me of the classic question, “Why did the chicken/squirrel cross the road?”
This story plays out untold thousands of times a day around the world, but it’s not just animals, it’s us. God gives us what we “need”, and yet, we want what’s on the other side of the road. Our discontentment with His provisions and curiosity is so strong that we are willing to risk the dangers inherent in those decisions. Somehow—I’ll never understand how—we convince ourselves that what happened to millions before us will not happen to us; “It can’t happen to me!” We believe we are wiser or have figured out a trick that ‘they’ didn’t know. In the end, the wheels pin us to the road, and the result is the same…passersby glance at our outcome, and then shake their head in disbelief about our poor choice to leave the known to run to the unknown. The funny part is that the squirrels on the side we’re running to are running to our side believing the same thing about our side.
God warns us over and over about desiring the other side of the road because longing leads to running, which leads to our demise.

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

“Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” 1 Timothy 6:6-8

Stories of men and women, who have refused to be content, litter humankind’s history from the most powerful leaders to the lowliest survivor. Curiosity killed the cat, the squirrel, and us.

 “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” 1 Timothy 4:11-13

If you are finding yourself looking, longing, and lunging for the other side, consider the dangers…consider our mandate to be content…consider our first goal, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33
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