Of Bats, Bees, and Groundhogs “The Battle for Your Family, Your Church, and Your Personal Integrity”
There is a real war being waged on the new property in Knoxville that my wife and I purchased a few short months ago. In the air, a large federally protected colony of fifty bats has taken roost in a hole in my chimney. In addition, a hive of honey bees has infiltrated the wood above my screened in porch. But there is also a ground war being waged. A mother ground hog and her two babies have made a home under my deck, digging holes that threaten to undermine our home.
The problem in not our home. The home is a beautiful and well built. The problem is inattention. Before we purchased the home, it went unoccuppied for almost two years. Nestled in an acre of woods, the wild animals have taken over.
Mamma groundhog has to go.
However, the liberation of our home is under way. Professional critter removers are on the job. Traps have been set for the ground hogs. The first groundhog has been captured. They will be killed due to a high risk they may be rabid. The bees are being found a new home where they can produce honey for a local bee keeper. The bats are being allowed exit from our chimney but are not being allowed to reenter through a process called exclusion. They will have to take their toxic bat guano elsewhere.
The plastic will allow the bats to leave, but won’t let them return.
This battle has caused me to reflect on a statement my father often says, “We have a bias toward the wilderness.” The meaning of this phrase is that if we don’t attend to our spiritual lives, none of us are far from allowing the damaging habits and lifestyle of the world to creep in. It doesn’t happen suddenly. It comes from inattention.
I see this in my own life. When my prayer life is strong and I am attentive to my wife and family, my life is well ordered. The most dangerous times in my life have been when I became inattentive to the things that matter the most. I personally know the disaster that can come to my life when I am inattentive.
Wage war on the encroachment of the world. Fight for your family, and your church, and your personal life. There are some things that need to be “excluded” from our lives. I’ve heard one of my dear friends Yulan Washburn pray exclusion prayers. “Lord keep people out of our lives that will bring us harm and bring people that will be beneficial.” The bat guano on my deck and roof is a reminder of how much mess is brought by allowing things into my life that shouldn’t be there. Some things in our lives like my ground hogs need to be completely destroyed. Some things like my honey bees are good for others but not for me. We will win this battle for our home, but the most important battles deserve our utmost attention. Fight on!