As I sit in my chair looking out onto the garden, I have been watching the activities of two squirrels. Clearly the hazel nuts on the bush next door are ripe enough for the little animals have been so busy each day. A never ending backwards and forwards, mouths filled with nuts ready for storing away against the coming winter.
I suspect that we humans have lost the art of working as hard as that in our daily lives. So much effort just to stay alive when the winter comes. Because my Autumn raspberries are almost ready for picking, I have draped a net over the bushes to keep the fruit from being robbed by other garden inhabitants!
En route for her nest, with a mouthful of nuts, one squirrel took a flying leap and landed in the net. Fortunately she managed to free herself for when I arrived ready to help her, the net was empty. This made me think about the advice given in the New Testament. The salvation offered by the Lord Jesus has a condition attached. Like the squirrels, if we want to be part of the wonderful future that God has provided for this earth, then we need to also work tirelessly for that great hope. However along the way in all of the detail of homes and jobs and families, there are many snares that lie in wait and so we need to use care as well as hard work. Three times the apostle Paul warned of these snares, in his two letters to Timothy.