“I have seen all the things that are done under the sun;
all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”
~ Ecclesiastes 1:14
In May of 2002, five prison guards supervising an outdoor work detail at Uganda’s Kotido prison saw a rabbit escaped out of the garden. All five of the guards went chasing after it, while the 31 prisoners they were supposed to be guarding ran off in another direction. Neither the rabbit nor the prisoners were ever recaptured. One of the escaped prisoners was a mass murderer accused of killing 17 soldiers and six others during an ambush.
We can cause a lot of problems chasing after the wrong things, can’t we?
We regularly chase money, love, pleasure, knowledge, popularity or a dozen other transitory things only to eventually discover we are chasing after the wind. Sooner or later, the cotton tail inevitably disappears up the trail and we turn around to discover we have not only lost the speedy, attractive bunny we were chasing so feverishly, but we have lost all we were supposed to be closely guarding. And the ripple effects of all these losses can sometimes be staggering. Sometimes a bad guy escapes we cannot recapture.
So don’t chase the bunny!
Guard your time with God. Guard your time in the Word. Guard your family. Guard your heart and mind. Guard your joy. Guard your holiness and purity. Guard your worship. Guard your church. Guard your neighborhood and community. Guard your country. Guard “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--guard such things.” Guard what God has given you to guard in this life. And don’t chase the bunny!
A couple weeks ago, Tesia and I rescued a beautiful 3 year old cat named Bella from the Humane Society. She is a pretty cat with hazel eyes, grey tiger stripes and a perfectly white chest and feet. She is very sweet, but a little fearful. In order to break through her fear, we bought a bunch of toys for her to play with. While she doesn’t care for everything we bought, Monica can amuse her for hours with a simple, little grey mouse dangling by a string from a stick. Whenever Bella sees Monica, she whines for more mousy play time. Bella always wants to play.
But Bella’s very favorite toy is my laser pointer. Kitty loves the dot! Kitty will go crazy chasing the little red dot around the apartment. It is almost embarrassing what I can get Bella to do with my little red laser dot! I can get her to zoom up the hallway and back again. I can get her climbing the walls and furniture. I can get her to run into things. I can get her to weave her head back and forth like she’s watching the ultimate tennis match. I can get her to run around and around in circles endlessly and then turn her around and make her do it all again the other way. I can do anything to her because kitty loves the dot. The dot is kitty cocaine.
Do you see the metaphors? Isn’t the devil constantly running bunnies and dots in front of us, hoping we’ll run ourselves to exhaustion chasing after them? Hoping we will leave unguarded all those truly precious things that matter?
Don’t let him get away with it this year! Guard the truly good things God has given you. This isn’t a game we’re playing. We don’t need to chase after all the things the world is chasing. We’ve already got what we need.
May God grant us all the wisdom to see the bunnies and the dots for what they are! May we chase nothing and guard all good things well!