The other day I was out pulling weeds and snipping some roses while Aaron was supervising (yes, I know that the roles are reversed). Aaron noticed that we were being watched…by a squirrel…more specifically a baby squirrel. Upon closer inspection it was not just one baby squirrel but several. A family of squirrels is living in our bird house designed for bluebirds. Over the years I have chased away woodpeckers, chicken snakes and occasionally neighbors but never had I faced the notion of an eviction notice for squirrels. Of course baby squirrels are too cute to kick out on the street, so I suppose I will just have to learn to live with them for a while.
Several years ago I read with amusement that Dr. Bill Self, pastor of Johns Creek Baptist Church, preached a series of sermons entitled: Squirrels in the Attic and Water in the Basement. I have much respect for Dr. Self but I have no idea where he was going with that series. He certainly had my curiosity, which may have been the point.
For me “squirrels in the attic” is personal. Over the years I have had a few squirrels who have attempted to take up residence in our attic. Now that I reflect on all this a bit further, maybe what Dr. Self meant by the title “Squirrels in the Attic” is that in the course of life we are inconvenienced by the uninvited. One day we have squirrels in the attic the next our child is sick with the flu. Sometimes the surprises are relatively trivial. But we all know there are events that can also be devastating.
Our faith is not to insulate us from “squirrels in the attic” or disappointments in life. Rather, we bring together our sometimes tenuous beliefs to remind ourselves of God’s steady presence. I love the beautiful words of Psalm 139:8:
“If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.”
What a great affirmation of the character of God! You and I arise each day with little knowledge of what we will face. Our day may go well or it may turn disastrous. Yet in it and through it we will not journey alone. God is the one who follows us even to the pit of our despair as well as the pinnacle of our triumphs.
This Sunday join me and a congregation of others who battle against squirrels in the attic or the birdhouse, and all the other surprises that life brings our way. It is an honor to be in this journey and family of faith with you.
Grace and peace,