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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Predatory Instinct

Not far from my house a small mountain lion hovers over it's new found food source. Somebody, (most likely not one of our locals), shot a buck and cut his head off leaving the body to rot. The body was left just at the end of our drive about a mile away. Its a place I hike almost daily. The young lion found it, and figuring it for some easy meals, drug it to another spot close by, partially burying it. Each day, my son checks the lions progress. Each day, the carcass is moved just a little and more of it has been eaten. Ravens have begun to eat what parts of the deer the lion didn't get buried well enough. It's slowly being consumed, but exists as a hazard and danger to us who live here. For now, the young lion lingers nearby. Every day, my son reminds me to be careful as I'm out hiking.

Just a year or two back, somebody shot another buck just behind our house a ways. They didn't even bother to take the antlers on that one, let alone the meat. A mother grizzly sow and 2 cubs fed on that one. Knowing they were back there was quite disturbing to me. Again, it was a potential danger to us who live here. Thoughtless, selfish acts of others unknowingly bring an element of danger to our small subdivision without them even realizing it. Predators smell the blood, they find the spoils and they become opportunists.

It occurred to me that spiritual predators act in much the same way. Some times we leave a bleeding mess some place in our life and inadvertently lure them in. Oh, we don't mean to be, but we're careless. We don't try to fix or clean it up. We just leave it there and it attracts the wrong kind of attention.
Anybody whose been reading my blog for a while, has found that Outdoor Mom always finds herself in some kind of crazy scenario! She enjoys high spirited adventures, but ends up fumbling her way along in it. She almost always something embarrassing! Its fun to laugh about, but usually at the time, it's mortifying! For instance, one time years ago, I found myself working in a small rural hospital many states away. On that particular night (probably the only one ever), I happened to be the person with the most experience. The other doctor and nurse I was working with were fresh out of school. Neither of them had ever done a particular procedure, and it was necessary to stabilize the patient. I really didn't have much experience myself in the procedure, but it didn't matter. I needed to be confident and do my best. During this intensive time, somebody pointed out that I was sporting a large piece of tape stuck to - yes, you guessed it, my derriere!! It was terrible! Here I was trying to be confident for everybody else, struggling to make my way through the procedure and a loud assistant had announced this fact and then proceeded to pull it off. It totally broke my concentration. My face turned red. I was just sure everybody was thinking "this lady is a total loser!" Thankfully, I managed to pull myself together and get the job done. Sometimes when others aren't confident about themselves, they try to deflect this by making somebody else look incompetent! Not to say that this person was doing that, but it happens. Anyway, when we project ourselves as not being confident, we attract that kind of attention. The first embarrassing moment that comes along, confirms that we are, indeed incompetent to do the job! Voices inside our head wag along with some on the outside! Soon we shrink back from opportunities that are God ordained. Having been the queen of many embarrassing scenarios, I know it's never easy to regain confidence in ones self during those times. Problem is, that's just the time the predator finds you and tries to devour. Its the time when you most need to reach into yourself and find truth resident. The truth is, it's really never about yourself. It's about others. If our focus is on them (and not ourselves), that truth will prevail.
Here's a good scripture to remind us all how to resist spiritual predators :-) It's a good truth to guard within us......................
Hebrews 10 :35 "Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise"
Till next time, guard your hearts and keep watch for predators ;-)


Anonymous said...

Great post, first, I completely understand folks who are hunting game as a means of provision; even though it may seem rather gross to me. To hunt creatures for sport is just not cool. Mntn lions and bears are such a real threat, and even occasionally show up in 'burbs that lie closely with forrested areas right here in the city. We'll pray for your safety. Second, what a great analogy! I loath that preditor, yet I do allow him to infiltrate my soul and steal the joy I have for my King! Peace and safety be with you.

cmoursler said...

There are people who try to suck your confidence down, usually cause they lack confidence themselves. It's either that or they use your lack of self confidence to manipulate others...which is truly disgusting.
Have fun on your hikes, but man, watch out for mountain lions.

"Indescribable" said...

Some people are not smart...leaving meat around like that .... DUMB.... not thinking about the ramifications of their actions.... uggg

I do love the lesson you extracted from the situation though - very insightful. Your example of unconfident people trying to bring 'us' down reminds me of Pauls letter Ephesians 6:10-18 where he tells us to put on our armor! We are smart to follow his teaching when he tells us to protect ourselves with the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of the spirit!

toytrkman said...

For just such a reason, in Africa it is the law that if you wound an animal (particularly a potential man killer like a lion, leopard, or cape buffalo) you MUST find it and finish it even if it means risk of death to you. To not do so leaves a potentially dangerous animal to prey on the next unsuspecting individual that wonders by. On the same side, we should seek to INSTILL confidence in others rather than take it away. Thinking of others instead of ourselves.

Heather said...

Thank you. Good reminder for me.

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

What a great devotion. I see this in my children too, as they learn to serve, and I have to remember to build their confidence so they will desire to continue serving. Thanks for sharing.

Becky said...

Honestly, I lack confidence at times. I think we all do, but you have made me think that if we have given our life to the Lord, we need not lack confidence. Our confidence is in Him and not in our self (flesh).

The other day my son asked if a new friend of his could have a ride home from school. Knowing nothing of this person I said yes. I had confidence that being hospitable to a stranger was what I was to do. I later found out that this young lady's Dad has not been picking her up after school, but letting her walk a long way home all because she loves Jesus. It feels wonderful to be an avenue of His love.