Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Parable of the rat

Eighty years is a fair age for a house. It's an age that means unfamiliar building habits, strange materials, worn wiring and constant upkeep.

A previous owner had done a lot of work in the house, work that was often slapdash and unprofessional. For instance, in the large room we use as a workroom for our business, they had lined the ceiling with Stramit, (panels of straw, bound with wire). This Stramit was only secured by using planks of wood to hold up the edges, and most of the wood had bowed over the years, and one panel had managed to fall out, while others were threatening to.

Now, we were pretty sure that a small animal had made its home between the Stramit and the original ceiling. We could hear it at times, scurrying around up there. It didn't sound like a possum, but was a lot noisier than a mouse.

This meant it was probably a rat.

On the day I removed the Stramit, things were quiet up there. So I got to work, methodically taking down the panels, starting in one corner and working to the other. With only three panels to go, we could hear the occasional noise of small feet. No problem, I thought, it will get out by some hole, the way it gets in.

Except the hole it uses we had already exposed, cutting off its escape route.

I got down to the last panel, and when I started to lower it, there was the rat, cornered and looking to use me as ladder to freedom.

This was a decent sized rat, I thought. I had to plan - how was I going to manage to lower the Stramit, catch and kill the rat, all while standing on a chair, and only having two hands?

This was too much for me to handle. It was time to call in an expert.

I propped up the panel with a plank of wood, to keep the rat from panicking and stay there.

Then I went outside and called for the expert - our cat.

My daughter found the cat, and brought it in, and standing on a chair, lifted the cat up to show her the rat. Cat, meet rat. Rat, meet cat. O.K., now we were organised.

I slowly let down the Stramit, giving the rat only one option, jump for its life.

The cat was primed and ready, and when the rat leapt, so did the cat.

It was over in a matter of seconds.

I was later thinking that we are like that house. The designer didn't include a rat n the plans, but there it was, an unwelcome addition.

God didn't create mankind to have sin, but we are all born with sin in our nature. And God has given us a way of dealing with it.

Like trying to get rid of the rat, we can't deal with it ourselves, we need to call in the expert.

If we want to get rid of sin, we can't tackle it by our self, we need help from an expert. God.

We may need to do some clearing out in our lives, but the root cause of our bad nature can only be gotten rid of by God. And He prepared for this when He came to earth as Jesus, to not just live for us, but to die for us, offering his life as a sacrifice to God so we could have our sin forgiven, and have His Spirit in us to transfer our nature from the old to the new.

Have you called in the expert?

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Keep it nice :) or get kicked out :(