Because I live on the edge of town, it doesn’t take long to reach the country. As much as we like to think of ourselves as “city folk,” we still have plenty of opportunity to experience the joys of rural America. On more than one occasion, I have met delays as I followed a hay truck or farm tractor down a two-lane road. Wheat fields and cattle ranches are literally just around the corner.
With open fields and undeveloped land comes little varmints that have found refuge in the tall grass and underbrush. Sure, we have encountered an occasional jackrabbit, hawk or a family of skunks, but for the most part, they mind their business and we mind ours.
It is when those little guys that love cheese start looking for winter homes that I start realizing I am more of a city kid than a country boy. Anyone who has ever bucked hay knows you are sure to send entire colonies of mice scurrying as you raise the roof on their little haystack abode.
Late one night, I heard a strange scratching noise in the wall. As I laid on the ground with my head against the wall I knew what I was hearing. Mickey and his buddies had set up shop for the winter in the wall.
I had tried standard remedies before. Rat poison, glue traps and mouse traps were OK, but with mice in the wall, my greatest concern was not killing the little guy, but how to remove him once he met his match. There is nothing worse than living with the smell of a decomposing mouse.
I opted for an original approach. Believe it or not, I rigged a mouse trap to the end of a long string. Complete with morsels of cheese as bait, I lowered the trap down the inside of the wall. I was impressed with my ability to straddle rafters with a flashlight under my chin as I maneuvered the temptation within reach of my prey.
Finally, everything was in place. About the time I was ready to go to bed, I detected a faint snap. It was sweet music to my ears. I couldn’t resist; I had to see if my plot had succeeded. Equipped with flashlight and pajamas, I ventured back into the attic to investigate.
I was not disappointed. The varmint had been extinguished. The temptation proved too irresistible. His lack of restraint brought sudden death. I lifted the victim from the darkness and disposed of the evidence.
All too often, we are like field mice. Temptation lures us into a trap. The devil knows our weaknesses. Our lack of restraint proves fatal as our lives are destroyed. Satan feels no remorse as he disposes of the evidence.
The key to survival is found in I Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” Beware little mouse, beware!