I have to confess that I have a love-hate relationship with squirrels. I love them because they're just so darn cute. I hate them because they're mean. My track record with squirrels is that they don't like me much either. At my undergrad, we had squirrels everywhere. They thought they owned the quad and woe to anybody in their territory. I remember one day I was walking across campus to deliver something. Out of nowhere, I felt something hit me in the back of the head. I turned around and there was an acorn at my feet and a squirrel staring me down. Okay, it may not have been staring me down, but it was pretty close. And that wasn't the only time it happened.
But this post isn't about my somewhat amusing history with squirrels. It's about something I heard at church way back at the beginning of the school year. I wrote it down because it hit me between the eyes and I knew I would write about it someday. Here it is: "Don't be a squirrel." Profound, huh?
Here's the gist of it as explained by my pastor. "Squirrels are cute and fluffy and they're rodents!" Squirrels spend their lives gathering nuts and twigs and whatever else squirrels collect just for kicks. They gather, gather, gather, and the only form of giving away they do is throwing an occasional acorn at a stranger's head. The American church is full of squirrels (and let's just be clear that I sadly fall into this category at the moment, so I'm not trying to be overly harsh on the squirrels of America). We take and take and never give away. When we do give away, it's usually begrudgingly. We don't think that building Christ-centered relationships that last should entail any work on our part.
It's time that Christians, myself included, stop being squirrels. It's okay to be cute if it just comes naturally, but the hoarding needs to come to an end. We need to get out there and share ourselves with others. This week take the challenge that I'm giving myself: don't be a squirrel. Share generously with those around you even when you just want to throw acorns. Go beyond the expected in the name of Jesus.
Have a great weekend! Don't be a squirrel.