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Of Mice and Men? No, This Isn’t Steinbeck!

01 Nov

Photo by luisrock62 on Morgue File.

This time of year mice have a way of finding their way into our house. We live in a rural area—an area surrounded by farm fields. When the farmers harvest their crops in the autumn, the field mice are dislodged from their warm, nestled lodging. They have a habit of seeking refuge in the environs of our house!

Now, I do not particularly care for mice, but my wife absolutely hates them! Or, more to the point, she hates them being in our house! We are not talking about being overrun with mice, only one or two usually; but, this is far too many for her tastes!

The other day, she opened the corner cabinet in our kitchen only to be greeted by a swishing tail that belonged to a field mouse. Perhaps you heard her scream?!

The problem with mice is that they can get in anywhere. They are almost impossible to keep out. I have heard it said, whether factual or not I don’t know, that as long as they can get their head into a space or a hole, they can fit their whole body.

We have pest control. We have traps of various kinds. But these mice seem to be smart. You put the trap in the exact place where you have seen a mouse once or twice and then . . . nothing! They can be rascally rodents!

It seems our visitor has gone. I have not seen or heard him in over a week now. He probably went out the way he got in, more than likely being scared half to death by my wife’s shrieking scream!

You can do all that is within your power to prevent the intrusion, but pests are inevitable. Of course, it is one thing to have an occasional mouse and quite another to be overrun by rodents.

The mouse in the house can be seen as analogous to things in our life as Christians. You do all you can to tighten up any areas of weakness: you batten down the hatches on your thought-life; you make a covenant with your eyes to avoid looking or watching anything that would cause you to be overrun with sinful desires or lust; you join an accountability group and faithfully attend and participate; you sing in the choir; you teach Sunday school; you preach passionate sermons; you give generously of your income; you pray daily; you read and meditate on Scripture . . . and, even still, the occasional mouse scampers through your house!

A thought. A desire. A wicked motivation. A ploy of manipulation of a friend. A festering unforgiveness. A prideful boast. A sneering callousness. A fire-breathing hate. An incessant bitterness.

It looms. It lurks. It crouches at your door and readies itself for its pounce at just the right moment; the moment when you are preoccupied. The moment when you guard is down, only but a little. When your eye is distracted or your heart is full of other cares.

It is crafty and wily. It is opportunistic. It knows your tells and your play. It knows your defenses and weaknesses. It knows your vulnerabilities.

And it doesn’t take much. Only a crack. Only one moment. One thought. One look. One stab in your heart. One tinge of anger. Like a mouse, all it needs a small opening and it can will itself through.

We are mortal, yes. We are only human, true. Perfection is not for this age. But, neither is making excuses. Would you let the mouse continue to run free in your house? Would you just give a shrug of the shoulders and exclaim, Oh well, mice will be mice. I don’t suppose one little mouse will hurt anything.

The majority of us probably would not take this route. Why? Because we know that one mouse has a way of turning into two mice. And two mice have a way of turning into four. And four into sixteen. And sixteen into a whole heap of rascally rodents!

It’s the same with sin. One has a tendency, if unattended, to fester and multiply. Have you not experienced this before? I know I have.

So the next time sin squeezes its little rodently body into your thoughts or life, be sure to call out to the One who can exterminate it before you find yourself riddled with rats!

 

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