A Meditation Upon the Stupidity of Squirrels

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

Psalms 139:13-14

Some time ago, I was looking out my apartment window when I noticed a squirrel attempting to hide its nuts in the hubcap of a parked car. I thought, "What a stupid squirrel." But that's not a sudden revelation--most people will readily testify to the stupidity of squirrels. It appears to be a part of their nature.

Squirrels rush around gathering nuts for winter but forget where they hide half of them. We would consider this forgetfulness to be a serious flaw on the part of squirrels. Because they forget where their nuts are, they must gather twice as many in order to make sure they have enough for winter. Poor stupid squirrels! But as I pondered their plight, this thought popped into my head: "Those forgotten nuts grow into trees. How many billions of trees over the past thousands of years owe their very existence to the forgetfulness of squirrels?"

Nature is highly interdependent. There's food chains, nitrogen cycles, bees that pollenize flowers while taking their nectar, etc. God carefully designed it this way. So perhaps God intended for squirrels to be forgetful in order to provide a way for the trees to reproduce themselves. If forgetfulness is part of God's divine intentional design, then the squirrel's forgetfulness would not be a flaw as we would likely think. Instead, it would be a feature!

A few months ago, I was praying before I went to sleep. Remembering the concept of God as potter and myself as clay, I said, "Oh, Lord, please make me into the woman of God that you want me to be."

He answered, "For this moment in time, you are exactly how I want you to be."

I protested. "But Lord, I'm not perfect yet. I lock my keys in the car. I have to write something three times before it's right..." I launched into a long list of my imperfections.

"For this moment in time, you are exactly how I want you to be. I will work on you so that tomorrow you will be how I want you to be tomorrow, but for right now, you are exactly how I want you to be."

Consider a young man with a new car. He spends all morning carefully washing and waxing it. He drives it to his friend's house to show it off, but while he's inside the house, a flock of birds pass by. When the young man views the birds' handiwork, he is rather upset.

Now consider God in the Garden of Eden. The earth is brand new and beautiful. He looks out over his creation and notices the birds flying over the Tree of Life. Does God cry, "Oh, no! Stop that! Bad bird!" No, he doesn't. God said it was good!

God's ways of thinking are obviously quite different than our own (Isaiah 55:8). What we consider to be perfect and good is not what he considers to be perfect and good.

Are you forgetful? Are you slow? Do you think you're ugly, too tall, or too short? Do you sing out of tune? Are you non-athletic or disabled? Are you losing your hair, teeth, or eyesight? Do you get lost easily? Do you stink at math? Are you socially inept or just plain weird? Whatever your foibles -- there's hope!

Does the squirrel realize that his forgetfulness has a part in God's plan? Does he know that the tree he calls home may very well have been planted by another stupid squirrel generations ago? Is he conscious of the fact that if squirrels weren't stupid, he might not have a home? Probably not. If he thinks anything at all, it's most likely to be, "I gotta get more nuts!"

Neither are we likely conscious of how our "imperfections" play into God's perfect plan. We are wrapped up in our own little worlds, unable to see the big picture. But as the saying goes, "God don't make no junk." When God made me, he did a really good job. When God made you, he did a really good job, despite all the little "flaws" you think you have. Praise God because you are wonderfully made!