Squirrels and Ostriches

by Doy Moyer

We were casually on our way to the meeting house on Sunday morning. As far as I could see, we were the only vehicle on the road, at least for a few turns. Suddenly a squirrel came running out from the left side right toward us, and … well, he didn’t make it. I thought, what in the world is wrong with these things? I am the only car on this stretch, and he had to wait until right then to dash out and get hit? What was he thinking? Were he and his buddies making some kind of bet? “Hey, here comes a lone car. Let’s see if Frankie here will rush out there and see how close he can get …” Thump Thump.

It just so happened that I was also teaching that morning from Job (coincidence?), and was commenting on this passage (Job 39:13-18):

"The wings of the ostrich wave proudly,
but are they the pinions and plumage of love?
For she leaves her eggs to the earth
and lets them be warmed on the ground,
forgetting that a foot may crush them
and that the wild beast may trample them.
She deals cruelly with her young, as if they were not hers;
though her labor be in vain, yet she has no fear,
because God has made her forget wisdom
and given her no share in understanding.
When she rouses herself to flee,
she laughs at the horse and his rider."

Why are there some animals that just seem to have no sense at all? They are almost comical in the way that they do what they do. There is no wisdom and no understanding. A squirrel can be just as stupid as imaginable… like see a car and run out in front of it for no apparent reason. An ostrich is pretty comical, though not something to mess around with.

Why are they like this? The answer given by God in Job is that He made them this way. But why would God make them this way? Consider this:

Just as God gives us examples through animals and insects of wisdom and strength (e.g., the ant in Proverbs 6:6-8), so God gives us examples through animals of that which is devoid of wisdom. These are animals that are living proverbs of folly and stupidity. They make us wonder at how something could be so ridiculous and foolish.

Yet here we are, human beings who are often rushing out into traffic and challenging wisdom with our own brands of folly and stupidity. If we can look at ants and learn something of wisdom, we can look at squirrels and learn something about folly.

Pay attention to the creatures around you. They are teaching us lessons of both wisdom and folly, and we ought to be learning.

Consider the squirrel…

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