A couple of nights ago I couldn’t get to sleep. So I got up and decided to revisit a project I had been working on that evening. I heard something rustling around in the garage but, upon some investigation, could not tell what it was.
The next day, hoping to rectify a malfunctioning turn signal, I went out to the garage. I remembered the midnight noise and did some investigating. It seems I had left the lid open on the large trash can I keep in the garage. It was positioned right next to my new portable grill. I began to pull the trash can out of the way and was startled by a slight movement inside the can.
I’m going to go ahead and own up to the fact that there was momentary loss of constitutionary control of demeanor.
Upon closer investigation, this is what I saw:
I realize that, for most of the world, those are called opossums. In our part of the world, “them’s possums.”
There they were – two very young oppossums. Those of you that have had some personal interaction with this species are probably wondering the same thing I was: “Where’s the momma?” I’m not too freaked out by baby possums. I don’t want to be anywhere near their momma.
You also may be wondering how these creatures happened into my garage. We’re not going into that right now.
And some of you are wondering what possible spiritual principle I am going to pull out of thin air from this scenario. You know me too well.
Well, we had a decision to make. What do we do with them? We had to let them go. Why? Because these ALMOST cute little baby possums are a lot like some of the things we allow in our lives that – if we’re really honest about it – we would have to acknowledge as sin (the choices we make to do what we want instead of what God wants).
We could keep these possums around. They’re kind of fun to watch and quite funny-looking. But they won’t stay little and almost cute. The longer we kept them around, the bigger and more dangerous they would get. They smell funky now, but they will be foul later.
But, worse than those problems sure to come…their momma could come back any time and wreak all kinds of havoc.
When we hold on to something that we know that we shouldn’t, there is always a danger of leaving ourselves vulnerable to a much more significant attack.
But I know that, if I hold on to the possums, there are a good number of people that will not have anything to do with me – because I smell like possum and could have any of the ill effects of handling a possum. My wife – the most important person on earth to me – would not come near me. She’d still love me. She’d still be my wife. But she wouldn’t want to snuggle.
In the same way, if I hold on to sinful actions or attitudes, it hinders my fellowship with God. He still loves me. He still wants me close, but the sin I refuse to let go of gets in the way of my closeness with Him.
So….we let them go in the big open field across the street from our house. I don’t know what happened to them, but that’s not my concern. My concern is that I no longer have possum in a can.
What about you? Do you have any figurative possums in your can?