Now that autumn is in the air, many squirrels have begun feasting on the acorns in our oak tree. It is fun to sit and listen to the half eaten nuts crash onto the deck as the squirrels rustle in the branches and leaves above me. I enjoy simple moments like this observing creation.
The squirrels are rewarded with hours of feasting in its branches. Their only real challenge in climbing up the tree is Montana, our sleek little rescue mutt with near grey hound like speed and the hunting intensity of a hungry wolf. Montana has proven his hunting skills by catching field mice, but to the best of my knowledge this canine has yet to sink his canines into a squirrel. He just sits for hours under the tree waiting for an opportunity, but the squirrels never have to touch the ground to get to the tree. Our six-foot privacy fence gives squirrels safe access. But oddly enough, the squirrels don't seem to realize that.
I have seen squirrels slowly walk from the neighbor's tree to our fence and almost reach the oak tree, when suddenly Montana would dart out. In a panic the squirrels head back to the safety of the neighbor's tree. One time, for over an hour, he kept a squirrel from crossing a wire that was 12 feet off the ground! I finally let him in the house so that the squirrel could get on its way.
Squirrels are expert climbers. So why do they fear something that can't get to them? Sounds a lot like us, doesn't it? How often do we allow the fear of things we should not fear keep us from getting to our goals? Too many times we think of obscure reasons and fears not to pursue our goals and we never reach our full potential. And how many times have we let trepidation walk us away from the perfect evangelistic opportunity.
We all have huge oak trees in our lives with plenty of acorns to eat. The problem is, we're just too afraid to cross the fence. Paul reminds us:
"For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline" (2 Timothy 1:7).
What would happen if each one of us would step forward with faith, confidence and perseverance to take on our greatest fear, which is often our greatest dream?
I am sure the reward would be a lot better than a bunch of acorns.
If you receive this by email, you can find Pat Mingarelli's three images that accompany his article by going here: http://bit.ly/HL-c8d9qC — the published version on http://www.heartlight.org!