Con­tro­ver­sies boil down to squir­rel and birds

Record Observer - - Religion -

I have learned con­tro­versy is what life is re­ally all about. Con­tro­versy means there are two sides, one side has no idea what the other side is think­ing. Of course, there are those con­tro­ver­sies when nei­ther side is ac­tu­ally do­ing any think­ing. That is what is called pol­i­tics.

I had an il­lus­tra­tion of this re­cently. The Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age and I spent a won­der­ful week’s va­ca­tion in Ohio vis­it­ing our son and his fam­ily. It is al­ways great to spend time with fam­ily.

Early in the morn­ing, I would go to the front porch, sit down with a book and ca­su­ally en­joy the quiet­ness. One par­tic­u­lar morn­ing as I was mar­i­nat­ing in the si­lence, I heard what sounded like an ex­plo­sion in the tree.

I looked and saw a squir­rel rac­ing down the tree fol­lowed by two scream­ing birds. I watched as the squir­rel dis­ap­peared into some bushes in front of the fence that bor­dered the prop­erty. I could see him stand­ing and star­ing at the birds who were scream­ing at him.

He stood like a frozen mon­u­ment, they fi­nally gave up and flew back up the tree and I saw them go to their nest.

I looked over and saw the squir­rel stand­ing there star­ing up at the tree in the area where the nest was.

I al­most went back to my book when I saw out of the cor­ner my eye the squir­rel leap­ing off the fence and rac­ing back up the tree to­ward the nest.

Al­most im­me­di­ately, the birds that were guard­ing the nest ex­ploded in anger and chased the squir­rel back down the tree and he jumped into the bushes and hid from them. They squawked and screamed for a few mo­ments, threat­en­ing some very bad busi­ness to the squir­rel.

Again, he stood there just star­ing.

This went on about six times be­fore I fi­nally re­al­ized what was go­ing on.

The birds were up there pro­tect­ing their eggs, which would soon hatch into lit­tle birdies. They were pro­tect­ing their fam­ily and their fu­ture.

The squir­rel, on the other hand, saw in that nest up the tree a fresh scram­bled egg delicacy. The con­tro­versy was be­tween a now plea­sure and a fu­ture fam­ily. If only the squir­rel and the birds could come to­gether and talk out their con­tro­versy, maybe they could have come to some rea­son­able res­o­lu­tion.

Of course, it would be rather dif­fi­cult to talk the squir­rel out of en­joy­ing a scrump­tious lit­tle meal.

That re­minded me of some con­tro­ver­sies we have had in the par­son­age through the years. It all boils down to the squir­rel and the birds’ con­tro­versy. I want some­thing now, just like a squir­rel, and my wife, like those two birds, is one of those peo­ple that know how to plan for the fu­ture. For me, I am not sure how long I am go­ing to live, so I want some­thing right now!

I am a lit­tle squir­relly along this line.

I do re­mem­ber a time when my wife was pre­par­ing cook­ies for Christ­mas. My wife can­not do any­thing at the last minute. It takes her time to pre­pare and plan all of her cook­ing. So, when it comes to Christ­mas cook­ies she is be­gin­ning the prepa­ra­tion long be­fore Thanks­giv­ing.

It was the be­gin­ning of De­cem­ber, if I re­mem­ber cor­rectly, and my wife was bak­ing a bunch of cook­ies that she was go­ing to use to give to cer­tain peo­ple for Christ­mas. Un­for­tu­nately, I do not pay at­ten­tion much to things like that. I came into the kitchen and dis­cov­ered to my de­light, that there were cook­ies on the counter but no wife in the kitchen.

I was only go­ing to take one with the be­lief that she would not miss just one cookie. That was my orig­i­nal plan. My plans never have a long-range ef­fect like hers do. My plans are al­ways in the “NOW.”

That cookie was so de­li­cious, so scrump­tious, that I thought it de­served one more cookie for my con­sump­tion. Af­ter all, she would not miss two cook­ies. As I said, I live in the “NOW” and I am not quite sure how many cook­ies I con­sumed be­fore my wife came into the kitchen.

All I know is, there was squawk­ing and pretty soon she was chas­ing me not only out of the kitchen but out of the house shout­ing, “How dare you eat all of those cook­ies. They’re not for you!”

Get­ting back to the porch, the squir­rel and the birds, I be­gan to feel a lit­tle bit of em­pa­thy for the squir­rel. I knew ex­actly what he was go­ing through.

Con­tro­ver­sies are like that. One side be­lieves one way and the other side be­lieves an­other way and the twain shall never meet. There is the bird’s nest view and there is the fence view. Not to men­tion, the cook­ies in the kitchen view.

Think­ing about that I was re­minded what the prophet said, “Can two walk to­gether, ex­cept they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3).

I know some con­tro­ver­sies can­not be set­tled, but I think a good re­la­tion­ship de­serves com­ing to some point of agree­ment.

Rev. James L. Sny­der is pas­tor of the Fam­ily of God Fel­low­ship Ocala, FL 34483 where he lives with the Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age. Call him at 1-866-5522543 or email jamess­ny­ His web­site is www.jamess­ny­der­min­

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