Friday, September 1, 2017

Meet Milton

Recently in the evening, and even some afternoons, an welcomed visitor has been dropping by my family's house. He's small, brown and fuzzy. Plus he's quick as a whip. The unwelcome visitor, more appropriately classified as an intruder, is none other than Milton. At least that's what I've named the ordinary house mouse that has decided that my home's living space would be a cozy place to spend his evenings.
Milton has good taste. My family's home is cozy. Cozier when a mouse isn't darting across the carpet and hiding underneath TV cabinets, which is precisely what Milton was up to last night.
Molly spotted Milton first and she went nuts. Her reaction was silent at first. As Milton went speeding from one corner of the kitchen to another he caught Molly's attention. She popped up from her relaxed position on the ground and took to all fours on high alert.
It didn't take but a moment for the rest of the family to catch up. Milton must be in the house.
Molly ran towards the right corner of the cabinet, precisely the place where she had spotted Milton but that sneaky mouse must have seen Molly coming. At precisely the right moment Milton darted out from the back, left corner of the cabinet and went speeding across the carpet, in the direction of a short set of steps leading into the living room.
Molly took off running but she was no match for Milton. Before she could even get a paw near the crafty mouse, Milton was under the largest piece of furniture in the whole room which also happens to be the one with the worst doggie access. The TV cabinet proved to be Milton's safest hiding place and Molly's defeat.
Since Molly couldn't reach the mouse she proceeded to sit by the cabinet and stare at it, willing the visitor to come out and play. Three hours later, when that hadn't worked, she started barking at the cabinet. If Milton wouldn't come gently then maybe "yelling" at him would work.
Maybe mice have terrible hearing or maybe Milton actually enjoyed teasing Molly. Either way, to Molly's great displeasure, Milton never reappeared. And, to the great displeasure of everyone else in the house (including Pippy), Molly wouldn't stop barking.
Finally enough was enough. Milton wouldn't come willingly. Molly wouldn't stop barking. This situation required human intervention. With an elaborate, and someone comical, scheme, Mom decided that she could create a blockade around the cabinet with one exit route leading straight out a nearby door. Using chairs, books, brooms and upended tables, Mom put her plan into action.
"Okay, now watch down at that end and I'll move this broom around down at this end. Milton will have no where to go but that way and straight out the door."
 Fool proof, right?
Wrong. For half an hour Mom tried to perfect her strategy and maneuver the broom in different ways. She utilized the aid of a spray bottle full of water. No dice and no Milton. Although through the open door a number of mosquito did make their way in, our mysterious mouse visitor never did materialize again.
The evening's mousey escapades ended with a "To be continued..." Milton was never spotted again and eventually Molly's alert status returned to normal. Troubling as it may be, we may never know how Milton sneaked in. We certainly don't know how, or if, he sneaked out.
Heaven knows I'm not thrilled with the addition of an evening intruder to the nightly sequence of events but when it comes to rodents Milton isn't too threatening. He's kind of cute and the way he scurries is too funny to be all that upsetting. I can put up with Milton. I can even find humor in Milton. What I can't put up with, the intruder I can't tolerate, is another more destructive and far more troubling unwelcome visitor. 
Worry is a sneaky, crafty, pesky intruder that does more damage than a whole colony of mice ever could. When worry gains access into the house of my heart its presence is undeniable. It doesn't even try to hide. Worry comes right out in the open and taunts me. Worry scurries across my spirit, snatching up my peace and rest. From the dark corners of my heart worry resides, refusing to come out and release my concerns. Worry takes pleasure in stealing my serenity and holding in hostage.
Worry, much like Milton, doesn't go willingly. Barking at worry won't make it go away and staring it down doesn't seem to defeat it. I've tried my own tactics and devised my own schemes to push worry out the door but it never works. Worry always outsmarts me.
There is only one solution to worry, only one extermination method that is fail-proof. Only One trap that worry can't outsmart.
The Truth of God.
When worry sneaks in and steals away my comfort and rest, God's Word provides the trap that captures the uninvited guest. Once in the grips of truth, worry's most cunning tricks are powerless. From the very darkest corners of my heart, the unreachable places, God takes hold of worry and sends it right out the door. In the light of God's Word, worry doesn't stand a chance.
What's more is that God doesn't just remove worry, He patches up the places of my heart that were prone to letting the intruder in. God sees my vulnerable places, the gaps in my faith that need mending and the broken spaces that need repaired. With more precision and far better results than the carpenter who tried to find the secret entrance employed by Milton, God cuts off the entry ways of worry. He steps in with peace and faith that block worry and deny it access.  
God not only casts worry out. He keeps worry out.

In my family's home Milton is still having his way and making his visits but in the home that God has made in my heart my unwanted intruder isn't having its way. God's truth found that intruder in an instant and cast him out in a hurry and it didn't take a single bark or upended chair. By the power of God's Word and His Holy Spirit He sent my worry fleeing for the door.

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