I walked Riley out the other day and saw this scene: a squirrel lying completely flat in the shade of a tree. He allowed us to walk right past him, seemingly unphased by our presence, and I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I’ve seldom seen a squirrel do what I assume to be a “cooling off ritual,” and certainly not without it scampering off the minute a human scent hit the air.

It occurred to me all of a sudden what a good example this little squirrel was. When the heat became too much, he spread himself flat on the cool of the ground, not allowing himself to be distracted. Isn’t that what we’ve been taught to do? Get down on all fours in a burning house to escape the heat, find clear air and more focused vision to get ourselves to safety? It seems, as believers, that we need to adopt the same philosophy, getting flat on the cool of the ground before the Father, putting ourselves down below the heat of our circumstance where we can focus, without distraction, on God’s strength and guidance to see us through, instead of our own.

I’ll be honest. Most of the time I know when I need to “stop, drop and get flat,” but I don’t always do it. I’ve been known (more often than I care to admit) to continue soldiering on through a veritable blaze, standing upright in my own inadequate strength, coughing and sputtering all the while. I know there is clarity and refreshment down below the smoke, but I keep going my own pitiful way.

Lord, help me to follow the example of this small creature. Like him, let my “getting flat” become my first instinctive response when the heat starts to threaten, seeking only You without distraction.

Photo credit: elledeegee