Get Out of the Street

I was on a walk with a friend last week and she reminded me of the classic grade school fall art project we all did where we dipped small sponges in gold, red, and orange paint and dabbed them on paper to make awesome looking trees. Just like the ones that line our streets these days.

There are so many memories I have of fall as a kid: the smell of burning leaves, the crisp air, the shuffle and crunch of the leaves on the sidewalks, the honking of geese flying overhead, and the sight of that first taffy apple three-pack on the kitchen counter.

Another thing I noticed not so long ago as fall began its arrival was the increasingly erratic behavior of squirrels. Most of the summer I’d see them scampering up and down the tree trunks and sometimes showing off their acrobatic skills as they swung from tree to tree. For the most part they seemed carefree.

Not so much these last few weeks. As the days get shorter, it seems nature is calling them to a frantic preparation for the winter ahead. I see a lot of stockpiling of acorns and other squirrel fare in holes in our yard.

Their carefreeness seems to have turned in to carelessness. I have seen more squirrels darting across the streets or just sitting in the street lately. I found myself having to come almost to a complete stop before they would move. In their frenzy to prepare for what’s coming, they’ve become reckless and put themselves at risk.

In light of this autumnal observation, I smiled when my sister’s friend sent the following quote last week.

Me yelling at squirrels
in the street to move
so they don’t die is probably
the same feeling God has
watching me live my life most days.

God is so patient with us as we become reckless in our relationship with Him. In our efforts to prepare for, or rather control, whatever it is we perceive to be coming, we often spend our days stockpiling assurances for the future. A future we desperately try to control. We don’t allow God to lead.

We miss the present and His presence, and His provision.

I picture God watching us do our best and repeatedly trying to gently draw us into a new awareness of His constant love and desire to protect us from our recklessness. He longs to keep us moving in the right direction. That is, closer and closer to Him. And He does all this without yelling at us!

Where have you been reckless in your relationship with God?  What area of your life are you trying so hard to control? Frantically working to make sure you are prepared for anything that you have set God on the roadside watching.

Just as the brilliance of the trees remind us of God’s love and care for creation, let the darting squirrels you see on the road this week (and you WILL see them, I promise!) remind you of God’s love and care for you.

He’s watching.

Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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