Woodshed Wisdom

By Freeman Martin

Three skunks, two possums, and a deer. I began to think it was open season on any four-legged creature, this road kill that we witnessed on the way to church Sunday morning. The carnage was everywhere. In the road, on both sides of the road, and in the median.

With our modern day tree-cuttin’, land clearing and massive developments in recent years, we’ve been slowly shrinking the size of the area ‘where the deer and the antelope roam.’ Then you throw in huge numbers of vehicles moving at projectile speeds on roads not built to handle so much traffic. Yes, I realize there are exceptions. Martha never goes over 35, just in case a dartin’ squirrel might hear that she was in the neighborhood. But, is it any wonder that folks are baggin’ their daily limit without firing a shot?

We human beings are the most intelligent of all God’s creatures. But, if the animals could think, do you wonder what they must be thinking? Let’s play What If. What if one of them, maybe a skunk, was writing this? Watch it! I see you grinnin’ from ear to ear and saying under your breath, “You got that right!”

This is just me, but I think the kin folks of those furry creatures that don’t make it across the highway must surely be wondering among themselves, ‘what ever happened to the dirt road?’ Well, little possums, you’re not alone. Some of us two-legged creatures have wondered the same thing.

Back home on the dirt road at Route 4, Seneca, South Carolina, I can’t recall ever seeing a single instance of road kill. Not one! I guess God did indeed give those little four-legged creatures the ability to think. You wanna know why? Thanks for asking.

‘Cause they always knew what time Mr. Bill Hunnicutt, our mailman, was coming down our dirt road. He usually came at the same time every day. And his was the only car they ever had to worry about. So, mama possum could teach all her little baby possums, “You don’t ever want to try to cross the road between ten and eleven o’clock every day.” And if she didn’t have to take ‘em to the possum woodshed to teach that lesson, all was well down in Possum Hollow.

Now that we know the mindset of our furry friends, let me pose a question for you to ponder today. Do you ever feel like you’ve barely escaped being ‘road kill’ yourself out there on life’s highway? Safely inside your door at night, leaning up against it, you breathe a sigh of relief. Another day without becoming road kill!

Maybe not the kind of road kill that animals suffer, although our roads are getting’ more dangerous by the day. But just like the creatures of the woods, you’ve put it all on the line out there on the highways and byways of life to be and do what is right, fair, and good. And rest assured, there’s someone who’s always trying to make road kill out of God’s people. His name is the devil.

And he’s always prowling around looking for somebody to tear apart and devour (1 Peter 5:7-11). For Satan, it’s open season every hour of every day on God’s children. So how do we ‘get across the road’ without gettin’ run over?

Just follow God’s instructions. First of all, in verse 7, He tells us not to worry about it, He’s got our back. We can give Him all our anxieties ‘cause He loves us. And with that confidence, we also must be self-controlled. And, for goodness sakes, don’t go to sleep (v. 8). I mean, you just don’t walk out in the road in front of an 18-wheeler!

So, armed with His love, self-control, and alertness, we can resist the roaring lion (v. 9-10) by standing firm in the knowledge that we’re not out here on the highway by ourselves. It was God who put us here. And even when (not if, ‘cause it will) the road becomes a scary place, God Himself will make us strong enough to outrun the devil. And for that, He alone gets all the honor and glory forever and ever (v. 11)!

And, oh, one more thing. Good habits are hard to break. So, always sure to look both ways before you cross the road!

Even if it’s a dirt road.