A few days ago I was in the back yard taking some pictures of the variety of birds that like to take advantage of my feeders. I’ve enjoyed taking up photography over the past year. Although I still have a lot to learn, I enjoy the hobby. Sitting there trying to be still so I may be able to catch a picture of an elusive feathered friend, I decided to look up. Way up. And there, looking down at me, was a young fox squirrel. He was being very still himself – and I feel pretty sure he was hoping I wouldn’t see him.
Even though I leave a generous supply of black oil sunflower seeds to feed the birds, squirrels, cats, whatever else happens by, none of these creatures has responded with appreciation. My only joy is to get to watch them and sometimes photograph them. I’m sure they observe me filling up the feeders – they are not far behind once I’m through! You would think they would connect my presence to animal treats. But no. Not even this squirrel.
Yet, every time I looked up, he was staring down at me. Maybe trying to decide if I was a friend or foe. I have no way of knowing what was running through his little squirrel mind. Maybe he just wanted me to go away so he could get back to whatever he was doing before I showed up. But I decided to entice him with a fresh pile of sunflower seeds. So, in a spot clearly visible to him, I left the good-will gesture and sat back down to see if he would come a little closer.
As much as I’d like to be this squirrel’s friend, there’s a lot of distance between us. Mostly, we’re so different and have such different capabilities. I don’t really understand what it’s like to be a squirrel – I’d have to become one to really see his life for what it is.
Temptations and enticements, being what they are, appeal to most all creatures. But this is more than just temptation, it was invitation. And my little friend accepted that invitation.
I keep thinking about how God wants to have a relationship with us. Most of us hide from Him, or think we are hiding anyway. He keeps reaching out through blessings, compassion, the Word, Jesus … there’s no way to enumerate all the ways that God has been reaching out to us all our lives. We really do not understand the joy that awaits us until we acknowledge and accept what He has to give us.
Those were some of my thoughts as I observed this young fox squirrel a few days ago. I’m glad he had enough faith to sneak down that tree and enjoy the gift I left for him. I don’t know that I can distinguish him from the other squirrels that share my outdoor space, so I don’t name him nor look for him another day. I just enjoy the beauty that God sends my way each day. I pray that you take a look around sometime today and enjoy the beauty placed in a world that God said was ‘good’. It is.
The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.Hebrews 11:1,2 The Message