Ann Spangler

Ann Spangler is an award-winning writer and speaker.

Thieves

close-up of a squirrel in a tree

I’m not much of a gardener, but I do have a few tomato plants in the backyard. Trouble is, my luscious tomatoes have been disappearing at an alarming rate. I finally realized who the culprit was when, one day, the thief stepped brazenly into our yard. I watched as he reached out a greedy hand, grabbed a single, ripe tomato and then turned quickly to make an escape. Yelling at him to “drop that right now!” made no difference whatsoever. He simply scampered up the nearest tree with his treasure intact. If he could have managed it, I’m sure he would have turned around, stuck out his tongue, given me the raspberries, and then chortled out a victory cry.

Searching for a solution online, I found that this kind of thievery is common among the mischievous creatures we call squirrels. The problem was what to do about it. Here’s what one fed-up gardener had to say: “I’ve tried the water bowl, cayenne pepper on the ground, garlic and pepper sprayed on tomatoes, CDs tied to supports, and even hot sauce injected into tomatoes. They really enjoyed the injected ones, thought it was salsa.”*

Those thieving squirrels remind me of how easy it is to lose many of the other things we value—things like peace, which can be snatched from us in an instant. Perhaps it’s time we took a stand against the most common culprits, especially those we can do something about. Here’s my list:

  • Filling my schedule too full
  • Buying too much stuff (lots of stuff takes lots of time to care for it)
  • Not exercising
  • Not praying
  • Listening to the lies of the enemy

The last, of course, is the most insidious. Satan has a gift for telling plausible lies, which will fill you with doubt and anxiety if you listen to them. Though you can’t stop him from lying, you have the power to reduce his audience by one. Whatever you do today, refuse to give in to his deceptions. Listen instead to the voice of the Lord who loves you.

 

  • whizzer75, August 10, 2006 (8:34 p.m.), comment on aldaric, “Squirrels eat tomato’s? [sic],” posted on “Tomato Pests and Diseases,” iVillage Garden Web, accessed August 16, 2011, http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/tompests/msg0819534428839.html.

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