Deer tracks in the snow! That’s something I would never see in my yard. We’ve lived in this general area for almost 15 years, and I think I’ve seen a grand total of two deer. Turkeys innumerable, but deer just don’t come around these parts!
The deer tracks I snapped these pictures of went straight through my dad’s yard. They’re frequent visitors there, and you may see a couple of deer herds in open fields around the area if you’re out driving near dawn or dusk. To us visitors, it’s quite an experience to catch a glimpse of them! Catching sight of a doe and fawn is a special treat. But to most of the locals, they’re just a nuisance.
Hitting a deer running across the road in front of your vehicle will cause extensive damage to your car, if not to you as well. When not causing accidents, deer love to visit expensive landscaping and vegetable gardens that have been given all the right nutrients and conditions that wild plants don’t have access to. The plants not only look nicer and provide us with better produce, they’re tastier to the deer!
Where I live, wild turkeys are the nuisance. They don’t seem to be afraid of anything, least of all a car. A whole flock of them will wander s-l-o-w-l-y across four lanes of traffic, not bothered in the least that a car could easily crush them. They’re big enough to do some damage to the car, mind you, but they’d definitely come out the loser.
Turkeys have attitude. They may be a lot smaller than a deer, but they’ll get aggressive if they think they can dominate a person. The best thing to do is give that attitude right back to them, with loud noises or water sprayed from a hose for good measure.
This guy greeted me at a friend’s house a while back when I pulled in the driveway. Was I going to stay in my car and let him keep me trapped? Not this girl! I’m not going to let a 25 pound bird tell me what to do. I got out and didn’t even give him the time of day.
There are real reasons to see deer and turkeys as pests invading the neighborhood, and the cost to repair property damage is the biggest. I already mentioned deer devouring landscaping and vegetable gardens. Turkeys can also wreak havoc on cars, roof shingles, and backyard blue ribbon plants by pecking, scratching, and defecating. What’s a homeowner to do?
Remove the yummies! Replace your landscape plants with deer-resistant ones they don’t like. Put up fencing to protect your vegetables. Stop leaving food outside for song birds and pets (turkeys love to nibble around under the bird feeder, and will clean up the pet food, too!).
Stop feeding the wildlife!! You’re doing them a disservice, and causing yourself bigger problems when they move in with their extended family. They should just be traveling through, not setting up camp!
I am sure that by now you’re wondering what on God’s green earth this has to do with Christian living. Well, I’m glad you asked!
There are pests and nuisances that come into our lives now and again. How we respond to them can determine how long they stay, as well as how much damage they can cause.
If you are inclined to spend a lot of energy figuring out all of the worst possible ways a situation could turn out, you know all about worry! But it is an evil thing, that worrying. Jesus said that it’s one of the things that can choke out the word in your heart, causing it to be unfruitful (see Mark 4:3-19). He also warned that we should not let worry dull our hearts, or we might be caught unprepared for his return (Luke 21:34).
What should we do? Plant worry-resistant scripture in your mind and heart!
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NLT)
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27)
What worries can you give to God today in exchange for his peace?
There is a time and a place for righteous anger. God is just, and calls us to respond to injustice. But there are many instances when anger rises up within us simply because we haven’t been treated the way we think we deserve. Our pride cries loudly within us for retribution! If we continue to feed that anger by rehashing the situation in our minds, it can morph over time into bitterness if we don’t feel that we were compensated well enough for our offense.
We forget how much we’ve been forgiven, and that we are called in turn to forgive! “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” (Colossians 3:13)
Jesus said it this way, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15) That’s pretty serious, as well as cut and dry.
Is there something that’s taken up residence in your heart that you need to chase away with a generous dose of forgiveness?
Worry and anger are only two nuisance pests that can affect our spiritual growth. What are others that you find wandering into your life now and then? How do you deal with them? I’d love to hear about it! Use the comment section below, and share with us…