Some people say that squirrels look like rats with furry tails. At times, I can see that. But I think the overall thought on the animal is that they are cute. After all, who puts a small statue of a rat in their garden? I think they are cute. And now I have an unusual obsession with squirrels. I literally will be in a conversation with my wife and.. SQUIRREL!
We have put out bird seed to attract birds. Even our neighbors have noticed the increase in the number of birds in the area. So it is working! We even had some Lesser Goldfinches stop by on their migratory trip. (And by migratory trip, I mean from one side of the complex to the other. We ran out of seed for a day and they haven't been back) We love the activity on our patio and the sounds they make. (Not so much the mess!)
Along with the birds, we have had an increase in squirrels. There is Bella who we thought was going to be a mother when we first noticed her. She tends to stay the farthest away from us when we go out. There was Buster a male with a darker face but I haven't seen him for awhile. He used to come with Bella but now there is Chip. Chip is named after the chip out of his ear (Right picture above). But my favorite is Sammy (Left picture above). Sammy is the most aggressive one. He has even tried to scare me many times by jumping at me, chattering at me and shaking his tail at me. But he is also the one that will come close enough to get food from my hand.
At first, he would jump at me, but soon he would walk up slowly and carefully before grabbing the peanut or bread out of my fingers and running a few feet away. Now, I will hold the peanut tighter and he will put his paws on my hand to take the food.
One time, he took the bread and just went a couple feet away. I decided I would try to touch his tail. Guess what happened next? Yup! He turned and scratched my hand before I could even get close.
A couple of weeks have gone by and we are now at the point where he will sit on the fence and chatter to get my attention. When I come to the door, he runs down towards it and waits about a foot outside. I grab a peanut and as I come out, I point and tell him to get up on the fence. He runs around, climbs up and comes to where I am holding the peanut. I have done this quite a few times and it seems to work.
One day, I went out to give him his peanut in the same manner, but this time I brought out a bag of old cereal to put out for the birds. I gave him his peanut and he went to his normal spot a few feet away. I stopped keeping an eye on him as I started to pour out the cereal on top of the fence. All of the sudden I felt his front paws on my hand. Startled, I pulled my hand away before I realized what happened causing his claws to scrape across my skin. Squirrels have razor like claws. I barely saw any scratch marks, but just a second later a bead of blood started forming. Later, I could see the results of the scratch and it looked a lot worse than it did initially.
In dealing with wild animals, even small cute little fury squirrels, you always have to be aware and on guard. It is easy to put your guard down, like I did. I would hope I wouldn't be the same way if I was dealing with lions. The same applies to purity. There are bigger things tend to keep us on our toes but the smaller ones we overlook. When we think that just a little crossing of a boundary won't hurt anything, that's when things can happen. We let our guard down and next thing you know, we have fully crossed the line. A little look here, a small flirt there, or thinking something is just an innocent gesture but hiding it are all little things that open the door for a bigger attack. You may even think, "What harm can this cause?" It isn't the harm that the action could cause that is the problem. It is the harm that that action will lead too down the road, that is the issue we need to protect from. The initial affect may not seem that bad, but later on, the real results will show up.
How we look at issues is important in knowing how we will approach them. If I looked at a lion the same way I consider a squirrel, I would probably try to feed one by hand and probably try to pet him too. But when I truly look at a lion for what he is, then I make sure I keep a safe distance and have enough protection between him and me. When we look at sin as a small thing, we tend to keep our guard down and don't respect the damage it could do. If we see pornography as just pictures or as something that isn't harming anyone, then we won't be able to comprehend the consequences that just looking at it will cause.
Living a life of purity is hard work. It takes effort. It isn't just about being nice. Some of the nicest guys I know have been addicted to porn or have had affairs. Living a life of purity is about being aware of where attacks can come from and then protecting yourself. You can't just float along and stay pure. The more you stand for purity, the more impurity attacks. Be prepared.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. - 1 Peter 5:8
Rob and Jenna Crenshaw are founders of Crossroads Club