We have lots of squirrels where I live. Some are red, some are grey, but both varieties have in common that they like to play in the road. I admire the beauty of squirrels when they’re in trees, but I find them a little annoying when they’re on the road.
I’m not sure why squirrels don’t seem to notice their deceased family members that have been run over by cars. You would think they would make the connection, but they don’t. Every day it seems like I have one, sometimes two, running out in front of me as I’m driving.
And it wouldn’t be so bad if squirrels would just get across the road. No, they make it more complicated than that because typically they cannot decide what they’re going to do. They start to cross the road, but then they change their mind and go back to the shoulder, only to change their mind again and turn back toward oncoming traffic. In a panic, they scramble back and forth until the inevitable happens…they are squashed by their indecision.
I see a parallel in my own life. Sometimes I can’t decide what to do and I, too, go back and forth in indecision. I’ve started calling it the Law of the Stuffed Squirrel, meaning make a decision and stick with it before you get run over.
As all good leaders do, Jesus talked about the importance of commitment, about choosing a lane – His lane – and sticking with it. In simple, straightforward terms, Jesus said “Follow me,” but sometimes – when following him is challenging or confusing – its tempting to turn back to the life we used to know, to life before Jesus, when we were calling our own shots and doing our own thing.
There’s a scene like this described in the Gospel of John. Jesus had just given a talk that was a little difficult to grasp. In fact, in some ways it was downright offensive, so much so that many of the crowd bailed out and headed back from where they came. Let’s jump into the conversation right there:
So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:67-69)
When presented with the option of turning back, I love how Peter replied. It was a clarifying and defining moment for him in his relationship with Christ. In essence, he said to Jesus,
“Are you kidding? We have no where else to go. There is nothing else. You are everything and have everything that we’ve ever wanted.”
There comes a time, actually multiple times, that we have to clarify what we believe and what that means for our lives. Am I in or am I out? Is my answer yes or no? Am I going or am I staying? Otherwise, if we keep going back and forth, back and forth, we fall victim to our own indecision.
So, next time you see an indecisive squirrel on the road, may it remind you of the law of the stuffed squirrel: make a decision and stick with it before life runs you over : )
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.