The first sign was a shredded Eos lip gloss in the passenger floor board of my car. My youngest has an inquisitive, experimental mind, so I automatically assumed she acted on an impulse to see what would happen if she took a cuticle trimmer to its exterior. An altogether plausible explanation to me!
Then other items showed up shredded in my car.
Then parts of the back seat.
Then the droppings.
And we knew.
There was a critter living in my car!
My husband’s first foray into critter trapping produced his first kill! But the victory was short lived as the sanitized interior showed signs of more activity.
There was more damage.
This time, the varmint outwitted its hunter. Traps were left looted or untouched. More evidence lay scattered about. More damage was done. It even gnawed on the front console!
It was becoming comical as attempts to trap the invader became more hostile! Then alas, it was time to call in the professionals! Once on scene, the technician immediately announced:
“By the size of the dropping, I’d say you have a rat.”
As we chatted about who in the world actually has something like this happens to them (that would be me), he set monstrous traps with irresistible bait and instructed me not to drive the car for two to three days so the rat would be able to find its way out.
“What do you mean, ‘so the rat can find its way out!?!?” I asked, fearing his answer.
“Yeah, you probably had a mating pair that got in and nested. Your husband trapped one, but the other one can’t get out,” he matter-of-factly answered as if this happens every day.
“You mean to tell me I have been DRIVING AROUND WITH RATS NESTED UNDER MY FRONT SEAT ALL THIS TIME???????”
“Yes, Ma’am.” (Because, you know, this is Texas.)
I guess I decided rats were nocturnal and these visitors were coming and going NOT DRIVING AROUND WITH ME!!!
This was a game changer. Even after the second perp succumbed to the professional’s bait and trap, I left my car sitting for weeks!
What if I had been driving around and it decided to nibble on my heel? I would have died and probably had a catastrophic wreck! (Or as my friend below commented with way too much pleasure, a ratastrophic wreck!)
When I shared my trauma with said friend over coffee, she begged, “You just have to blog about this!” Because, you know, everyone wants to admit they had RATS LIVING IN THEIR CAR!!!
But there is definitely a very real spiritual application to all of this.
Those rats are like sin in our lives. Sometimes we live oblivious to the sin, but there is evidence of it in our lives. At first, it’s easy to explain it away, but then the evidence becomes undeniable and the damage increases. If allowed to remain, it can wreck us and destroy our lives and relationships. It has to be recognized and acknowledged for what it is, and it must be rooted out. And when it is, the evidence of it – its symptoms – disappear too. And like me, sometimes we need to call in someone else to help us properly diagnose and address the problem!
Looking back, it makes perfect sense that the shredded Eos container was the first sign of rats in my car. Yes, my friends. RATS IN MY CAR! The same is true of sin in our lives. Right now, I can look back and see where certain sinful mindsets “moved in” to my head and nested there. Where unbelief crawled in and never left, like the lie I shared in my last blog that Jesus isn’t enough. I can see where I thought it was something else – I am not enough – and explained the evidence of proving myself with other reasonable assumptions, like I just need to lose some weight, change my style or buy new clothes, change my hair color or skin products, do more, accomplish more, be like her, or whatever! But the droppings and damage of sinful roots became too much to ignore: discontentment, comparison, unrealistic expectations followed by disappointment, strained relationships and dissatisfaction.
But that rat – the lie that Jesus isn’t enough – is being rooted out as the Holy Spirit teaches me truth and God’s enabling power[i] – His grace – equips and reminds me to take old thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ!
By His grace and Spirit, the Lord is equipping me to trap the thoughts and discard them, just like James did the rat! And when the lie, unbelief and sin are rooted out, the evidence will disappear, because like the rat, it’s gone.
Here’s hoping there are no babies.
Alright, I know you’re dying to. Go ahead and share all your rat puns with me! Let’s have some fun with this.
Here are a few my friend and I have chuckled over:
[i] Jerry Bridges, Trusting God.