Monty is our cavalier King Charles Spaniel and he has a gripe. He hates and I mean hates hawks that fly over our property periodically to bother the king. He sometimes brings a few friends who sit up in the eucalyptus trees and stare down at the king while he barks incessantly at them trying to get them to move without success. The more he barks, the more they use a gravely voice to upset the king. It sounds like a person who is trying to clear junk from the throat to spit. It infuriates the king but the hawks know that they have the upper hand sitting up in the tree out of reach of the king.
He will be sound asleep in the house and the sound of the hawks flying overhead propels him from a deep sleep to standing erect at the back door demanding that we let him out. It truly is a menacing experience and one that gets worse over time. He hasn’t learned how to gain victory over menacing hawks so the pattern persists and grows worse. The king hates the sound so much that when our next door neighbor was putting in new tile in their house, the sound of the water saw to cut pieces of tile sounded like the hawk somewhat and it propelled him to race to the place of the noise and begin barking.
It reminds me of menacing things in our lives that cause us to react similar to the king. It could be a reaction to a spoon clinking on the teeth when eating that one of my clients reacted to his soon to be wife. It could be disorganization of a creative spouse or child. An habitually late significant other. A reaction to an addictive habit. Shut down words or phrases such as , “whatever”, “you’re just like your _______”, or “never mind” can be irritants that cause us to react. It may be certain types of drivers. Drivers that drive slow and stay in the left lane of a 4 lane highway.
It’s obvious that the hawk doesn’t bother me but it sure bothers the king. There are other things that bother me that wouldn’t bother you. What else is obvious is that all of us have menacing triggers that causes us to react poorly. Paul speaks to this dilemma when he says, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more that you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.” I Cor. 10:13 We all have temptations or menacing situations that coax us to react negatively to the stimulus. But God not only knows our menace but has a way to be victorious over the obstacle so that we grow by it. We don’t have to choose to go down the same road every time and allow that stimulus (hawk) to rob us of responding differently.
This journey has hawks that will irritate us if we allow them to. It’s our choice on this journey to choose the way of escape God has provided.