The place didn’t look like a florist shop.
It was back a ways from the main road. No real parking lot. Cars of all varieties parked haphazardly. I was on a mission to pick up flowers for an event, but this was worth the extra minutes to take time to look around.
Not what I expected.
Then I heard rustling. Serious rustling. I glanced to my left and saw a very large raccoon.
Sitting not three feet from me. Right by the door. Staring.
I’ve had encounters with raccoons before. They look cute and cuddly, like a moving stuffed animal.
You don’t want to mess with them. They’re not afraid of many things.
I hurried into the flower shop. A man in camo was sitting on a stool. His back to me.
I asked, “Is that raccoon out there a pet?”
The gentleman turned to face me. He looked like he’d be more comfortable in a deer blind than a flower shop. He looked me in the eye.
“That’s never a good idea.”
This gentleman had hunted raccoons. He shared a few details about their disposition.
“These critters are fine for the first six, seven months. Folks think they’re cute. But when they reach sexual maturity, they’ll turn on you in a heartbeat. I’ve seen a twenty pound raccoon take out a dog four times its size.”
Some things were just not meant to be. What looks cuddly and adorable one minute can rip your face off the next.
This raccoon had been treated like a pet by the shop owner’s son. It had been living above his trailer, and he’d been feeding it for quite some time.
As long as it was fed, it was a happy little camper.
Imagine the consternation of said raccoon when the kitchen closed.
That little guy is a picture of my bad habits. And attitudes. And what happens when I insist on feeding them.
Binge TV watching, for instance.
I’m three seasons behind on “Downton Abbey”, and in order to catch up to the current–and last–season, some serious TV viewing needs to be done.
An enjoyable distraction.
But hour after hour of watching?
That’s never a good idea.
But it feels good.
I don’t need help wasting time. Or in making poor choices. I’m an artist in creative waste practices and rotten rabbit-trail thinking.
But my time–my life–is worth more than waste.
God has given us life as a gift. Each day is an opportunity to choose to do something worthwhile. To encourage people. To help someone in need. To think more of others than of me.
When I feed any bad habit, I become more comfortable with it. Giving it more control over me than I want.
When I choose to invest my time wisely, I benefit. And so do those around me.
God is at work rooting out my inner raccoon. Those habits that support my already well-defined self-centeredness.
The ripping-someone’s-face-off attitude? I’m working on that one.