I Hate Chipmunks!

In September and October, you walk our front pathway at your peril. We have the most aggressive acorns you’ve ever seen, or felt. Honestly. The dents they render to a car’s hood or roof are nothing compared to the bumps they produce on your noggin.

Then in the spring, I tackle the unhappy chore of removing of hundreds of tiny oak trees sprouting in my garden. So this week, I decided to pre-empt those suckers and rid the garden of them before taking root. Not as easy as I thought. Like giant pistachios, they had already split and many a root sprouted, burrowed firmly in the soil.

Although there were hundreds, maybe thousands, most were on the surface, fairly easy to dig up, but here and there I uncovered clusters of acorns hidden in the stone wall, under the branches of low bushes, concealed among the stalks.

Then I found it - the Mother Lode, the Cave of Wonders, the Pirate’s Booty. No way was this pile the result of falling acorns. This was a secret stash, a stockpile surreptitiously buried in some clandestine plot. This was the resident chipmunks’ winter preparations.

The outward appearances of these adorable little furballs belie their true identity - hideously destructive varmints. They burrow holes in the soil, loosen the supporting rocks, and now hoard potentially damaging future oak trees.

I didn’t see any chipmunks as I was working. No, they save their activities for when no one is around to witness their detrimental deeds. But the evidence of their handiwork is apparent.

Of course this got me thinking….

These acorns are like the barbed comments that people fling our way. And they hurt, not a bruise on the head, but on the heart. Zingers that find our soft spot, and embed themselves. If we let them take root, they will grow and fester and bear bitter resentful fruit. The longer the root remains, the stronger it gets and the harder it is to remove. It is easy to narrow our eyes at the perpetrator, to retaliate, to judge. But Scripture tells us:

… make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison. Deut. 29:18
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Heb. 12:15

After wasting useless minutes fuming at these critters, I realized -
             they are just doing what chipmunks do.
All my anger isn’t going to make them more sensitive.

I can’t change them, but I can change my root structure:

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Col. 2:6-7

Instead of hating the chipmunks, I have a choice.
And with those whose comments dent my soul, I have a choice.
I can let them fester, develop bitter roots, and ultimately poison me. Or I can respond as Jesus did. "Father, forgive them. Those chipmunks just don't know what they're doing." Well, a loose paraphrase, but you get the idea.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Eph. 3:16-19


Donna Bolster said...

Have missed your writings, Susan. This contains much wisdom and a subject I can relate to. Glad you're back. :-) Happy Autumn!

Valerie said...

Praise the Lord Susan

It is good to hear from you. Valerie & I have prayed, and are thanking Abba Jesus & Holy Spirit in advance for answered prayers. Hallelujah Amen!!! We love you all!

P.S. Good Story, and Great Message.

Marja said...

Great post Susan, thanks for sharing your thoughts! Hope and pray your family members are all well on their way to a full recovery!!

quietspirit said...

I have missed you. But, life gets in our way, and it comes first. I will note your request on my prayer list.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Susan -

I've pulled up a few of those seedling trees in recent days. They are stubborn. Your spiritual application is so true. It's better to get those seedlings out before we need a chainsaw to do the job.

Praying for you and your family.

Susan :)

Michele Katherine said...

Hi Susan,
I like how you were able to apply the chipmunk story to real life issues, and also gave scripture verses.

God bless you,
Michele Katherine