A horrible thing happened this morning. Horrible.
Sampson, my dog, loves to chase squirrels. He will run them all day long up trees, hoping fiercely to catch one but it’s never happened…until today.
He ran a squirrel up a very tall light pole at the park. While other squirrels ran for safety in the surrounding trees, Sampson was fixed his prisoner. He taunted, barked, bounced and badgered the squirrel but he just scurried higher up the pole. Sampson didn’t move. He refused to give up. Suddenly, for no reason at all, the squirrel jumped down off the pole! He was dazed and couldn’t scamper very fast so Sampson got him. Can’t be mad at the dog, that’s what dogs do! I stood there, shocked and amazed. Why. Why in the world would that critter take such a chance knowing it was a long fall, Sampson was right there and he may not survive it?
What makes us think we can jump into things we know we shouldn’t and not be hurt or hurt those we love? Why do we think it’ll always turn out ok when the chances are 50/50 – sometimes less – that they will? What makes us lurch into danger giving no thought to the consequences that await us?
Maybe it was fear. The squirrel was probably terrified. I reason in my mind that had Sampson treed him he would have never taken such a chance. Sampson kept on taunting him, the squirrel went up as high as he could but maybe felt he wasn’t far enough away from his enemy that he thought, “If I could just get to that tree, it’s close…I can make it, then he won’t see me and I’ll be safe…” and went for it. Sometimes don’t we think the same? We think if we can’t see the enemy he surely can’t see us; we think any decision we make out of fear is an ok one; we have to do something, so we do what we know to do, maybe what we’ve always done: JUMP! Maybe it was wanting to hide, to get away. Maybe it was the challenge, boredom, adventure, something different. I don’t know. All I know is it didn’t end well for the squirrel and it won’t end well for us if we flirt with disaster thinking we can get away with it.
Jumping into danger (whatever the danger is) in all likelihood won’t end well for us either. Humans (supposedly) have another sense to guide us and perhaps talk us down before we take the plunge and if a Christian, an even greater resource, the Holy Spirit. Before we move for whatever reason, take a minute to think (yes) but especially to pray. He has the best sense of what’s good for us and will always guide us, if we let Him. Always pray before plunging. Okay?
Isaiah 30:21 “Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.”