Beware the Critters!

I’m still recovering from my car’s diagnosis as I’m waiting for the repair to be completed.  My husband was out of town, and I scheduled an appointment after hearing a rattling noise from the fan that starts whenever the heat or air conditioning is turned on.  I described it as the noise a card makes when flicking in the spokes of a bicycle.  Then the noise started getting louder and louder!  While checking in to the service department I noticed the notation on the repair sheet just as I had described it to the service department…”Makes a horrible noise!”

I also asked them to see what they could do about a raunchy smell that I supposed had something to do with the great amount of rain and warmer than usual weather we had been having.  A year ago, after a fishing adventure my husband had organized, some “fish juice” (from freshly cleaned fish) spilled on the carpet in the back seat.  I was not at all thrilled with this rotten smell in my new (new to me) car and Wyndham lovingly worked very hard to get rid of the smell.  So, when my car began smelling like death warmed over I figured the fish smell had been reactivated by moisture and warmth.

I stared in disbelief as I got the news of my car’s problems.  It seems a mouse family had made a nest in the car, near the fan.  The little noise happened when the nesting materials fell into the area around the fan.  However, the disgustingly horrible situation that became a loud noise happened when the whole family moved in…Let’s just say things really “hit the fan” at this point!  Thus, the disgusting smell of death warmed over (which caused me to ride down the highway in cool weather with windows down) was exactly that.  As the service attendant began describing the problem I began to feel a bit nauseous.  Then he handed me a voucher for a complimentary lunch at their café, while I waited.  Was he kidding? How was I to think about food?!

Since the car also had a few recalls to fix, the dealership offered me use of a free rental car for the day.  As I drove home I thought a lot about the scripture in James 1:12-15

    Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

    [13] When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; [14] but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. [15] Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Temptation takes all kinds of forms….the temptations to be lazy, stingy, selfish, short-tempered, deceitful, impure, condescending, gossipy, prideful, (and the like) come at us every day.  It’s not sinful to be tempted.  It’s when we let the temptations start bringing their nesting materials in to our hearts and minds that we get into dangerous territory.  Then one sin comes in to rest in the nest and invites its entire family.  That’s when things start to “hit the fan”.  Unless we clean it up and disinfect (like what is happening to my Toyota now…except I’m speaking from a spiritual point of view)  our life begins to stink!

After hearing of my disgusting car situation I asked the service attendant how I might avoid this problem in the future.  He told me what he does – which works for him.  He suggested I could get a cat (not going to happen…I’m a dog lover but allergic to cats!)  or I could (as he did) purchase two rubber snakes, put them in the driveway and park the car over them.  He said this would scare the mice away.  I will have to remember that these are fake snakes, and will need to warn my family and friends.  I hate snakes and I’m afraid I might forget these aren’t real!

What I do need to always remember is that by keeping my heart and mind on spiritual things (Philip. 4:8  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.) sin won’t be able to make it’s nest in my heart.  I want to keep it like that!

James 4:7-8

    Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. [8] Come near to God and he will come near to you.

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About Jeanie Shaw

After retiring from forty-five years in full-time ministry, Jeanie Shaw went back to school to earn her master’s and doctorate in spiritual formation and discipleship. She also serves as a certified Christian life coach who loves helping people discover the joy, peace, and purpose that come from finding and following God’s plan for their lives. She has taught classes and workshops all over the world and has written numerous books. She has four grown children, eight grandchildren, and a golden retriever who thinks he is human. When she is not reading, writing, coaching, teaching, or enjoying her family she might be found walking along rivers, learning new lessons about life.

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