Isaiah 5:21 NIV
My backyard is a beautiful sight. Mountains encircle the valley and acres display God's awesome creation: wildlife, plant life, raptors gliding and swooping. It's a treat for my eyes and a boost to my spirit as I soak in the beauty. A landscape developed by God, the Master Creator.
Creative people spend lots of time alone, thinking, shaping, and being still. Regular breaks are essential for refreshment. Physical and visual stimulation go a long way to carbonate your senses and get you back to work.
On one of these breaks, my attention was drawn to the deck. There lay the tiniest squirrel I've ever seen. From his furry tail to the top of his head, I could make out his entire form as he lay still, lifeless. I looked at the branch hanging over the deck to see if the momma was looking down, with nuts in her cheeks and sadness in her eyes. There was nothing.
I thought of my boys, love welling in my heart, and wondered why Momma squirrel wasn't around. Perhaps this happened in the night and her vigil was over. As a squirrel, she could get on with the work of her day, but here I was dwelling on the problem.
I attempted to refocus on the bigger landscape, but my gaze kept revisiting the baby squirrel. So, I decided to dispose of him. With shovel in hand, I went to the squirrel and stared in disbelief. I went back to my original post and studied it, then went out again to the squirrel ... back to the post and back to the squirrel.
Too often, we're distracted by the need of the moment. Interruptions can easily rob our time as we begin to problem-solve with limited knowledge. We may not initially see things as God does, leaving our wise assessments to categories like vain imaginations. We try to bring clarity to a circumstance without all the facts, without prayer, without truth. The Bible warns us not to be wise in our own eyes. Our thoughts can earnestly deceive us.
My dead squirrel turned out to be a well-formed leaf. A closer walk revealed the truth. Our relationship with God is much the same. Next time you encounter distractions, instead of building them up in your mind, why not get closer to God and discover the truth.
(Photo courtesy of morguefile and Koan.)
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Jewell Utt is a writer and speaker. She has served in church leadership for over twenty years, with a focus on women's ministry and community outreach. The common thread of teamwork shows through in her music, teaching, and administrative roles. Jewell is the director of a community food pantry, teaches Bible study, and organizes events. She has been married for thirty-four years and has three grown sons. Visit her website at: www.jewellutt.com.