This week I’m looking after my parent’s dogs while they go on a cruise. Now, I never mind helping my parents out. Their little dogs are high maintenance, but sweet. However, being responsible for them for a week, makes me a nervous wreck because they are tiny and fragile.
My backyard is covered in giant hardwood trees. There are many squirrels and chipmunks that make their homes in and around those trees. Those of you who remember basic biology, will remember what a food chain is. Those little aforementioned rodents, are at the bottom.
There are much larger predators at the top, which puts those tiny little dogs in danger. Mama and Daddy adore those little dogs, so I take their safety very seriously and I have to be constantly at watch when I take them out to do their doggie business.
The very first afternoon I had them, I decided to run them out for their longest walk before the sun went down, thinking they would be safest at that time of day. We had just stepped off of the back deck area and onto the ground, when I spotted it.
On the other side of the yard, sitting on a bird house, sat a very large owl. I froze. We stared at each other. I literally said to him, “You’re not supposed to be out this early.” I knew if he came for the little dogs, I would have very little chance of escape. A couple of minutes went by and he flew away with like a five foot wing span.
I breathed a sigh of relief as we finished our walk, but I constantly scanned the area, like I was some kind of soldier in a combat zone.
I thought about my owl encounter long after the little pups were safely back in the house.
As disheartening as it was to actually see him my very first day out with my little charges, it was a very effective reminder that I have to be vigilant while they are in my care. For them, danger lurks everywhere.
And as He often does, God used nature to speak to my heart as well. We have spiritual predators that are always lurking close by as well. There are things like anger, jealousy, resentment and ongoing pain that we carry around, that eat away at our souls. They leave gaping holes that allow bigger predators in that can really harm us.
As Christians, we are called not to walk in fear, but to be on guard. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
We are called to pray for strength, protection and wisdom. We are called not only to ask for forgiveness, but to give it to others as well. We are called to be vigilant with our souls.
An owl reminded me. Perhaps you needed reminding too.
Have an awesome day!