I’ve never been one to kill animals. I mean, I can go fishing, put a worm on a hook, and throw a living fish over ice in a cooler. I don’t like any of that, but I can do it. But if I had my way, I wish fishing didn’t have to be so merciless and brutal. Happy worm, happy catfish. Not so happy anymore.
Last week, Page informed me we had a rat in the kitchen.
So I obtained some sticky traps and strategically placed them at the back of the cabinets. Next morning, I was starring at his beady black eyes imagining him pleading with me for grace.
I gave him very little. I placed him in a plastic grocery bag and threw him in the big green trash can. Alive.
(By the way, is that what everybody does? I was told this is what you do – just throw the pest away to suffer and die. He shouldn’t have been in your kitchen, so he gets what he deserves, they say.)
At any rate, here are 5 lessons I learned from my experience with this poor rat.
1. Sometimes the lure of greener grass leads to death.
Mr Rat believed housing in my cool, food-filled kitchen would be better than his alternatives. He believed he could avoid the snakes, birds of prey, cats, and other rat dangers he faced outside. He saw my house and believed the grass was greener. Now he is dead.
One of the biggest obstacles to living a successful life is believing the grass is always greener on the other side. Well, it might be, but you better make sure there are no sticky traps in the greener grass before you blindly bounce over.
2. Sometimes your life is not considered valuable.
What I did to this rat would have gotten me a death sentence had I done it to a human being. Obviously, to me, the life of a rat was less important that a clean kitchen and the avoidance of disease for my kids.
There are some in this world who treat other people like they are no better than rats. Hitler was an obvious example, but plenty of people who are not capable of genocide still believe other people have little or no value.
My advice: stay away from those people.
3. Consequences are sometimes merciless.
The rat made a decision and face the terrible consequence.
God has set this world up to operate this way. A decision is made, a seed is sown. Then comes the reaping.
When people break God’s Law, whether they are believers are not, they must face the consequences. Now, for the believer, God forgives these breaches of his Law, and because of Christ there is freedom from the Law’s ultimate condemnation.
But the immediate consequences are still often felt. If you are feeling like a rat caught in a trap, perhaps you should wisely ask yourself, “Have I made some bad decisions?”
4. Death can come unexpectedly.
Former Auburn football player, Phil Lutzenkirchen, died last week in an auto accident at the age of 23. Just like that, it was over.
The poor rat in my kitchen was living the high life. He had full reign of the place. He was sheltered from the hot sun and was avoiding predators. Things were rolling along great for little Mickey. Then suddenly, it was over.
People need not live in fear of this reality, but people should certainly live in light of this reality. Life can end very quickly and unexpectedly.
5. There is a Day of Judgment.
Mr Rat thought he was getting away with his trespassing. But his day of judgment came.
Whatever actions people engage in will be judged (Rom 2). Nothing is hidden from the sight of the Almighty.
This fact should push us to the cross of Jesus Christ. There we will find the needed protection from the wrath of God that will surely fall on those who are not in a right relationship with him.
My thanks to Mr Rat for bringing these lessons to mind. Sorry it ended the way it did.