My home office is set up intentionally so that I can open the window blinds and look out at a small wooded area when I need to be particularly philosophical, theological, or just day-dream. Depending on the season and neighborhood activities it is interesting to analyze the various behaviors I get to witness. Sometimes it involves people, but often it is the animals that catch my attention.
This week I noticed a squirrel that was acting a bit strange. I know it is the same squirrel because I named him “Earl” (get it, Earl the Squirrel)? Seriously, I am confident it is Earl because of a consistent and repeated pattern. You see Earl starts in a tree across the road, runs down the tree with something in his mouth, jumps straight up, crosses the street, runs up a new tree, comes back to the street without anything in his mouth, jumps straight up, crosses the street, runs up the old tree, and then repeats the process.
I am not an expert on squirrel psychology, but I do know they store their food in trees and in the ground to survive winter. We had a pretty mild winter and spring is on the horizon, so Earl’s behavior made me curious. After a bit of detective work I realized that Earl is retrieving his stored food from a tree that it obviously diseased and rotting and is moving to a place he considers safe. Earl is wise and is preparing for a danger that will destroy his original habitat.
Proverbs 27:12 tells us, “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.” This is excellent advice for all aspects of our lives, but one that I think we often neglect. Most people are pretty good at reacting when the writing is on the wall. When a tornado watch is issued, we prepare our shelter; when a blizzard is approaching we go to the grocery store and get French toast ingredients; when our employer is going under, our resume gets updated; when we have a test tomorrow…we study.
I don’t know about you, but I find myself being reactionary instead of precautionary all too often. I check the weather radio’s batteries when the tornado warning is issued; I drive to the grocery store in the snow; I cannot find my resume, so I start from scratch; I hope the test is multiple choice so that I have a 25% chance with each question. It’s not a good plan—Solomon told us and Earl showed me! We must be out front of what the future brings if we are to experience the blessings God has for us. This is not looking for a crystal ball or predicting the future. For me it is being in close relationship with God. Walking and talking daily with Him in the name of Jesus Christ. Through prayer and other means, I know God reveals to me His plans for me. It is through faith and obedience that I must wait on the Lord for Him to make these plans happen, in His time, through His premise.
While I wait I must make the decision to be prudent or to be a simpleton. Quite honestly, I have been a simpleton far to often and the results are never good. Paul sums it up in Romans 7:15, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” I resolve to be prudent and to trust and wait in the Lord—I invite you to join me and Earl in this journey.