Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Mind Games

I have a 70 lb. lap dog. He is a cross between a collie and German shepherd. He's very protective of his family and likes to herd grandkids around the yard. Recently he met our neighborhood armadillos.

The dog is fascinated by these "armored squirrels" that root around in our yard. They come to harvest earthworms wherever they can be found. And, they leave behind holes just big enough to turn your ankle in while hanging out the wash.

Our dog has taken on the responsibility of policing our yard for these creatures. He watches from the front and back windows like a noble sentry. And when he sees movement, the barking begins. It is my job to open the door, (he has not figured out how to open a doorknob yet), and he shoots out to meet the unsuspecting interloper.

With all the barking and full speed chases, you'd think I would have buzzards circling for all the carcasses in our yard. But, just when you think the attack dog instinct is going to snuff out an armadillo...his shepherding instinct kicks in and he ushers them quickly to the fence line to our neighbor's yard. It's hilarious to watch, especially when he surprises the animals and they leap into the air about two feet. (This is why you never drive over an armadillo--they'll leap into your car's undercarriage.)

So for now, we play this cuckoo clock game every half hour or so. The armadillo is spotted, the bark strikes 3pm, and the gate opens for the race to begin. Neither animal understands the concept. The armadillos keep coming back, and the dog keeps chasing them to the neighbor's house.

The only way to really rid our yard of these hole diggers is to trap them and either send them away to the wild or have them put down humanely.

As a Christian, sometimes we get thoughts that creep across our mind's fence line. They root around in our brain and cause everything from worry to unclean thoughts. Some allow those thoughts to dig around too much and they start acting on those thoughts. And sometimes they end up with legal problems as a result of those actions.

In II Corinthians 10:5b it says, "...and {we are} taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ..."

How do you do that? When you find a bad thought creeping into your mind, you say a quick prayer and mentally grab it and give it to Christ to deal with. It's like trapping an armadillo and asking animal control to take care of it. Then focus on something else and remember it no more.

I know, it will be hard at first. Have you ever had someone play the "polar bear" game with you? They say, "Don't think about a polar bear!" And you find it impossible to NOT think about polar bears. Or someone starts humming the theme song to Gilligan's Island or the chicken song and you feel like your brain has rebelled completely. The mind is very sensitive to suggestion!

Philippians 4:8 says, "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."

Once you pray about it and acknowledge to God that a bad thought has slipped in, (confession) replace those thoughts with good stuff. Memorize scripture, listen to positive music, or just count your blessings. Above all, focus on something good in your life.

It may take a while, because our brains get pretty lazy. Especially with all the pop up ads and commercials out there. Someone always wants our attention. Maybe it's time to fast from TV or computers for you. That's something you should pray about. Because once we cut off the access that some bad thoughts have through the media, we make it easier on ourselves to really round up these bad thoughts and send them out of our lives.

I know that one day those armadillos will be chased into the wrong yard. You see, for now they go to our neighbors who are environmentalists. (Maybe I should give the animals more credit than I have.) But one day I think they will end up in our other neighbor's yard, and she has lived in the wilds of Florida for decades. She probably even has a recipe for possum on the half shell.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, not all have a successful leap. Some (not me) call
armadillos "nature's speed bump".

Kelly said...

sadly, one of the armadillos met his fate in the other neighbor's yard...11/4/09

Anonymous said...

Aunt Kelly,

I just found your blog off of the recipes that you sent me for Thanksgiving. I am glad i did. It seems that whenever I start to waiver or falter God sends you along with the perfect message. Keep up the writing it is amazing and you never know who is going to read it at just the right time, like me.

I love you

Lisa said...

Yes, the fact that they jump is why they're called the Texas Hood Ornament. :)
LOL... great post!