This past summer my extended family got together in New Mexico for a reunion.
The first thing we noted about it was all the fat chipmunks begging for food. Initially they were cute, but by the time we had left, they were just annoying, sometimes crawling into your bags, plopping on your shoulder, and even up your leg. The cute factor was gone – they had become overly familiar and presumptuous.
One day when I was running outside the campground, I noticed a difference in the size of the untamed chipmunks scurrying and hunting for food. They were skinny sleek things.
The fat chipmunks had gorged themselves on the crumbs in the campground and had lost their manners in the process.
One of the things I love about God is that he has given the ability to understand things outside the bubble of our existence in order to self-correct. If we’ll listen for his voice, the Holy Spirit will speak to us about areas where we’re causing weaker brothers to stumble.
OK, I’m going to meddle a bit here by saying something you may not like (I do it because I love you guys): Many of us may have become fat chipmunks in some way or another and don’t know it. People who are different from us find us annoying and we desperately need a word from God that puts a mirror in front of us so we can course-correct.
I never like it at the time when he does that. At first I usually find his words discouraging as I look at how I need to change.
But on the backside of the change, I see what a gift the word was. I recognize the truth of Heb. 12:10
, “God disciplines
us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.”
Living life as a fat chipmunk is bad enough, but not ever realizing it is much worse.
How do others perceive you? When was the last time you got a hard word that enabled you to see yourself as others did? Do our prayers sound like the thump of a lazy rodent begging for crumbs or are they the swift and willing prayers of the untamed?