Recently my husband screened in our side porch and it has quickly become my favorite place to sit and relax, to enjoy the weather, to sip on coffee and read a book or devotions, or hang out with family and friends and play games. We live in a neighborhood where the trees are huge and old, which also creates a very healthy squirrel population among other creatures, such as chipmunks, birds all of kinds, and the occasional snake. On this particular fall morning, it was brisk out and all was quiet, except for the outdoor worship service happening a few blocks away that subtly echoed through the streets, with strains of “How Great is Our God.” The peace that reigned in the air was so thick you could almost touch it.
What a feeling. As I sat taking in the peace and calm and chuckling to myself that none of my native Georgia friends would find themselves outside on such a brisk morning, I noticed the squirrels, at least half a dozen of them, running around the yard, up and down trees, hanging sideways on the fence and running back and forth at a furious pace. Usually I see them chasing each other up and down the trees, back and forth on our fences, or jumping from limb to limb, but on this day it was if they were working together for a greater cause. Each one of them had a cheek full of nuts, they were collecting from our front yard and were scurrying to get them to their hiding place for winter. They were chirping back and forth almost as if they were hatching a plan for what would be best for their winter storehouse. They had a purpose, they had come together for the greater good, they were planning for the days ahead. Then I thougtht about us—are we spending our days chasing after things that truly don’t matter, running at a frantic pace to “get things done,” but without a plan for the future? I know I can quickly drown myself in the “to-do’s” of the day, and while they are important (some more than others), I don’t always have the perspective of how short time really is. Am I working through my list for me, or do I have others in mind, and more importantly, others' eternal destination in mind? There are two things I know for sure, Heaven and Hell are real, and every person will spend eternity in one of these two places. And Jesus' return is closer than it has ever been! I can easily get so caught up in chasing down my plans that I miss opportunities to let people know they are seen, known, and loved. I can look like a squirrel running up and down a tree with no real reason, and at the end of my endeavor, all I am is exhausted. But as the squirrels exemplified for me this particular morning, if we work together, we can share our gifts and talents to further the kingdom of heaven and explode the population for eternity. So while the squirrels are busy preparing their storehouse for winter, we have the opportunity to prepare our storehouse for eternity. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also," (Matthew 6:20-21). Every day, every hour, every moment, we are given the choice to where we are putting our talent and treasure, and after watching the squirrels work together with such conviction and passion for their winter storehouse, I for one am challenged and encouraged to choose the perspective of an eternal storehouse as I walk through the days God has given me on this amazing planet.
May you be encouraged as well.
The best is yet to come!