I do not like squirrels. They are rats with furry tails. Squirrels eat the bird seed that we put out for the birds. They are bullies and greedy! They laugh at me when I try to get rid of them.
Because firearms are band in the city limits and we all know how well I do with a crossbow (nearly lost a thumb), my options for handling these pests have become limited and I am frustrated. The birds are not getting the food, and my pocketbook is hurting a bit because of squirrels.
How about a trap, I thought, not a big mouse trap, but rather a humane live trap? “Catch and release!” I said. My wife told me that releasing them on I-80 was inhumane and against the law. Maybe if they get caught once or twice, they might get the message and I just let them go. My version of scare them out of jail.
My first attempt was with peanut butter.
They went into the trap, ate the peanut butter in the trap, then left. I heard squirrel laughter. I used peanuts and, of course, they ate all the peanuts, shared them with their squirrel friends. When I went out to check, guess what I heard? SQUIRREL LAUGHTER!!!! The trap was still set. I just left it in frustration. I could hear the squirrels talking to each other in squirrel language. I think they were wondering just how dumb I was.
Well, guess what happened later that day? I trapped a squirrel. No squirrel laughter this time, but clear surprise and anger. Can’t be too dumb I thought. I caught a squirrel without using bait! My wife reminded me about dumb luck.
It refused to get out!
So when I went to release the little bagger, it refused to come out. It clung to the inside of the trap. I opened the cage and there was freedom. All it had to do was leave. But is stayed. I think it was wondering if I was going to trick it.
I put the cage on the ground and left the door open. I hoping I would not have to prod it with a stick. It just stayed. So in frustration, I told it to leave or I will come up with another alternative to this situation. Those were not quite the words I used, but you get the point. By the way, there were still no laughing squirrels to be heard.
Then it left. It was a brown streak. (This can be taken in several ways). Why it would not leave, I don’t know. Maybe it got use to its cage, maybe fear immobilized it. It certainly didn’t like it there, but maybe the future prospect of a freedom without regular birdseed was too daunting. I don’t know. I am not a squirrel whisper.
Is it fear of the unknown?
When the Hebrews left Egypt and got out in the wilderness, they because petrified with fear, fear of the unknown. The future, the radical change their lives had now taken. They actually were thinking of going back into slavery. At least they knew what that was all about and they knew they would get fed.
Sometimes people will stay with what they know even if it means slavery to something or someone. I can’t leave, what will I do, where will I go, how can I do this alone.
God does not leave us hanging out to dry!
God calls us out of slavery to sin, into a new life of freedom in Christ. This can be radical, not knowing what to fully expect, or such a big change that the heart and mind rebel. God does not leave us hanging out to dry! On our own, we would probably crash and burn, but God walks with us. Through the trouble waters of uncertainty, through the wilderness of sin and the valley of darkness and death.
God is there when the jail door is thrown open, the shackles are removed and freedom is ours! God’s Words tell us not to turn back to the ways that keep us captive, but rather to live fully in the life of Christ. Isaiah 42:5-7
By the way the squirrels, don’t laugh at me – for now. And the birdseed is now just for the birds!