Last spring we adopted a rescue dog. He is some kind of mixed-breed, and his name is Scooby. Scooby spends a good part of his life sleeping on the couch, begging for treats or being scratched behind …
Last spring we adopted a rescue dog. He is some kind of mixed-breed, and his name is Scooby. Scooby spends a good part of his life sleeping on the couch, begging for treats or being scratched behind the ears. Life couldn’t be any easier for Scooby. Then my wife got a bird feeder for Christmas and hung it up on our deck outside the sliding door. Life has been torture for Scooby ever since. Shortly after the feeder went up the squirrels found it. Now four or five squirrels at a time hang out at the feeder and it drives Scooby nuts. I don’t know if he feels he has to protect the house from these invaders or what? When he is outdoors he totally ignores the squirrels running around. But seeing them from inside the house, Scooby races across the kitchen and throws himself into the glass door. When he finds his way blocked, he tries barking to frighten the offending squirrels away. This bothers my wife and me but has no effect on the squirrels. Some even come right up to the glass to watch the dog go nuts. It’s as if they are intentionally disrespecting him. Life was easy for Scooby before, but now his mind is tormented by squirrels.
The same kind of thing can happen to us. Life is good. We are living at peace with God and our neighbor, but then something changes. Maybe we become jealous of something someone else has. Maybe our neighbor does something that disrespects us. Or perhaps someone says something that hurts us, and the more we think about it the more worked up we get. Our peace is gone. And we can barely even look at them without wanting to bark at them. Usually this has no effect on these “squirrels” either, but our life is miserable.
I’ve got some good news. It doesn’t have to stay this way. We don’t have to be continually worked up like Scooby. The Bible tells us not to think about those things, but to set our minds on the things that bring peace. “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy— think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8) “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard you hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7) Don’t think of the squirrels in your life. Look to Jesus and his peace.
Pastor Mark Miller Resurrection United Methodist Church