I am sure it wasn’t funny to Carl but I had to laugh. He was walking along looking at a squirrel that was running across the yard and ran straight into a telephone pole. His head literally bounced back from the impact. Carl was definitely not paying attention and he paid the price.
Before giving Carl such a hard time, I have to ask, “What squirrels am I chasing?”
I know for me I have often chased the squirrel of acceptance. For years, I have wanted to be recognized and valued by others, particularly my family. I have also fallen into desiring the wealth and power of this world instead of a relationship with Christ. And when I became fixated on these squirrels, I ended up banging my head against some type of pole that just showed up out of nowhere. Why? Because I wasn’t focused on the best thing.
Casting Crowns, a contemporary Christian band wrote a song called While You Were Sleeping that sums it up best.
“America, what will we miss
While we are sleeping
Will Jesus come again
And leave us slumbering where we lay
America, will we go down in history
As a nation with no room for its King
Will we be sleeping?
Will we be sleeping?”
In Matthew 25:1-13 the Message Bible states it like this:
25 1-5 “God’s kingdom is like ten young virgins who took oil lamps and went out to greet the bridegroom. Five were silly and five were smart. The silly virgins took lamps, but no extra oil. The smart virgins took jars of oil to feed their lamps. The bridegroom didn’t show up when they expected him, and they all fell asleep.
6 “In the middle of the night someone yelled out, ‘He’s here! The bride-groom’s here! Go out and greet him!’
7-8 “The ten virgins got up and got their lamps ready. The silly virgins said to the smart ones, ‘Our lamps are going out; lend us some of your oil.’
9 “They answered, ‘There might not be enough to go around; go buy your own.’
10 “They did, but while they were out buying oil, the bridegroom arrived. When everyone who was there to greet him had gone into the wedding feast, the door was locked.
11 “Much later, the other virgins, the silly ones, showed up and knocked on the door, saying, ‘Master, we’re here. Let us in.’
12 “He answered, ‘Do I know you? I don’t think I know you.’
13 “So stay alert. You have no idea when he might arrive.”
In other words, we don’t know when Jesus will be returning so we need to be like the wise girls and make sure we are focused on eternal things and not things from this world. For me, I know that I need to stop running after the squirrel of being accepted or seeking money and power and turn my thoughts to what truly matters. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
As for Carl, I expect he will continue to chase the squirrels every chance he gets, but hopefully next time, he will stop long enough to see the poles that pop up in his path.