Monday, October 4, 2010

Pack Rat

I almost always keep my golf clubs in the trunk of my car, for easy access and convenience, of course! A few weeks ago I took my clubs out of the car and put them in the garage to make room for a trip to Kansas. A few weeks later I grabbed my clubs, threw them in the car, and ran to the course for an early morning tee time. Just before we were to tee off I threw my flip flops off and my golf shoes on. I grabbed the laces of the first shoe only to discover they had been cut into ten plus tinny pieces. The first thing that crossed my mind was: mouse. I replaced the laces and headed for the course. As I walked to the first tee box I grabbed my glove, or what turned out to be the remnants of a glove. Living in the country I didn’t think much of my situation other than we needed to eradicate the problem before the remainder of our stuff was destroyed.

Day 1 of the great mice hunt I placed 20 poison blocks in the garage. Day 2 and all the poison was gone. Again I didn’t think much other than we had a lot of mice. Day 3 I placed 25 small sacks of poison in the garage. Day 4 and all the poison was gone again but no dead mice. At that point I knew we either had a small infestation of mice or we had something entirely different, a pack rat. You see, pack rats gather all the poison and take it with them to their nest. They will actually not eat the poison until winter comes along. I’ll save you the remainder of the details but I purchased the appropriate equipment to take care of the problem. Once I was certain the problem had been taken care of and I gained enough courage to sift through the garage, I discovered a large nest in one corner made up of tree bark, grass, hay, a destroyed phone book, and my golf head covers. Within this nest I also discovered all of my poison, light bulbs, screws, tools, and a variety of other things I was missing.

As I researched Pack Rats I discovered several interesting factoids about the hoarding little creature. First, the obvious is that Pack Rats love to collect as many things as possible to form their nest. They can move things of rather large size to start their nest. Second, Pack Rats are attracted to shinny things like tools! Third, Pack Rats have a short attention span. They will be in the process of moving one thing towards their nest only to abandon it for something they like better. Finally, I discovered that Pack Rats can be extremely vocal, sounding at times as though a fight is taking place!

Many of you are probably wondering where I’m going with this. Some, if not all, may think I’m off my rocker! But come on; look at the things you can learn from Pack Rat.
  1. Like a Pack Rat we collect tons of things (both spiritually and physically) that we never put to use. We just use these things to make a “nest” of sorts. We probably have enough stuff under our bed and in the far corners of our closest to feed a child in Africa for a year! Think of the spiritual gifts we’ve been blessed with that we never use. What a shame. What a Pack Rat.
  2. Like a Pack Rat, we too are attracted to shinny things. We are all about the bling; whether it’s the fancy cars, fancy houses, or fancy clothes. Even in missions we are all about the touchy feely things. Very rarely are we willing to get in the trenches, behind the scenes, and get our hands and feet dirty.
  3. This one is easy. Like a Pat Rat our attention span is so short. If you don’t believe me, I’ve been working on this blog for three hours. I’ve finished watching a NASCAR race, I’ve watched football, I’ve played hide and go seek with the kids. We are somewhat the same way with missions. How rare it is for both individuals and groups to commit to something long term. What’s even long term anymore? Two years? Four years? Seems like the first time we come across another “shinny” opportunity we lose our focus.
  4. We are in a fight. So, like a Pack Rat why don’t we use our voice? We might not have the financial ability to make a huge impact. We may not have the flexibility to actually go or do anything. However, we do have a voice and there are millions of stories we can share.

Sadly I must tell you my Pack Rat friend has moved on to greener pastures. But he didn’t move on before he left a big impression on me! Now it’s time to take those lessons and go to work. Thanks my fuzzy little friend. Aspire to new heights.

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