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Today, I found a dead rat in our back yard.  Dead-on-his-back, dried-out, flies-coming-around-him-DEAD!

This was the culmination of an all-out war my husband has been waging for at least a month against an unknown rodent (he feared a rat…that’s why he didn’t tell me when he started the war.)  I.HATE.RATS.

  • He bought a rat trap when he discovered something was getting into the bird food.  When the food started disappearing from the trap without anything being caught,
  • He plugged the tiny openings in the doors to the garage that had been eaten through.  When he saw signs that a nest was being made, he went to the big guns!
  • He bought…and used,  some poison!  Soon, our dead rat appeared in the back yard.

Because I couldn’t find the photo I wanted for this blog, I grabbed the courage and took this one.  I just love incongruous!  I also saved you a paragraph of reading about a photo I wish I had taken!

The reason I wanted this photo was to show the incongruity of what we… yes, that “we” includes me too, spend our time desiring.  In many Christian circles, they are called “idols”, but that doesn’t resonate with us much on an emotional level.

A photo of a dead rat, wrapped in a stunningly beautiful gift package would convey what I want to show.  This photo was the best I could do.  A dead rat lying on velvet!  UGH!

It doesn’t make a lot of difference what we are desiring: some things sound good like a Christian family, or a successful ministry…even a happy marriage.  But often, they get so mixed with motives involving our own egos.  Our “dead rat” might be comfort or bragging rights, self protection or even control.  Unless we are seeking God’s glory first, we are  desiring a dead rat that is gloriously gift-wrapped.

We want  to have all the accoutrements of a successful life according to our American culture.

We want to be comfortable:

  • no illness or pain,
  • no struggles with our children or spouses,
  • definitely no financial struggles…please NO!
  • Most of us know how to word our goals and dreams in ways that sound great and honorable.  But what is in our heart of hearts?  What is there that we aren’t even aware of until troubles come?

Of course, the list is immensely long.  Much of what is on it looks so beautiful…at first, but when we open the package?  There lies a dead rat!  Ewww!

We all are seeking  dead rats wrapped in beautiful, luxurious wrapping!  We are often not aware of it until we look squarely in the face of that awful thing, after that beautiful package is opened…after we have wasted too much time desiring it!

As you think about it, what are the gifts of dead rats that you are wasting your time pining away for, spending your time working for, ignoring others to concentrate on…only to find what is inside that luscious wrapping?

Think about your use of time, money, resources.  Are they dead rats?

Or are they living, vital, healthy plants that give life, truth, and fruit…luscious, life-giving fruit?

What are the dead rats you are finding as you open the beautifully wrapped packages that are your life goals?  They many not be horrible goals by themselves.  But you may be sacrificing too much in order to reach them…and for what?  A beautiful package with a dead rat inside that stinks?…and carries with it the ugliness of death?  Or something that is life-giving?

Is that what you want for all your work and effort?  Is it worth the prize at the end of the race?

The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.  Who can know it?  Jeremiah 17:8-10  (quote is KJV, link is ESV)