There was a time when struggling through the river of life, I never stopped to consider my quest, my obstacles, even my nuisances, but especially my enemy’s perspective. All were to be vanquished and disposed of as quickly as possible and stomped to the bottom of the river, footstools to be used to be first to the other side.
These days, even as I fight to rise above, I find myself somewhat content just to not end up with my skull on one side of a boot heel and the bottom of the river on the other…
It was more of a nuisance, but my first instinct was to kill em’. “Kill em’ all, and let God sort em’ out.” They’re uninvited guests, trespassers, free loaders. They make themselves at home around my house and don’t pay anything like it’s their God-given right.
When they first showed up six or seven years ago, I enlisted a gun for hire to do my dirty work. After all, it’s about taking care of yourself and your loved ones, the rest you just gotta scrape off the bottom of your boots.
I paid the hitman, the boy next door at the time, twenty bucks a head for the lives of my enemies and that got rid of them for five years or so, but then one day their offspring showed up again, unannounced and out of nowhere: the pigeons were back.
I first heard them from my office, breaking my concentration and stealing the thoughts that surely would have been the ingredients for a blockbuster novel. I went out front, which I rarely do, and discovered all the droppings splattering the mat outside my office doors.
I also found and obscene pile of the big bird doo smack in the middle of the front entry – the hanging light fixture had become their toilet of choice it seemed.
I threw landscape pebbles to shoo the flying rats, but the minute I went back inside they mocked my moxie and went back to the secluded spot outside and above my office windows.
The hitman has grown up and gone off to college so I had to take the dirty deeds into my own hands. I got the most high powered pellet gun they had and enough ammo to fight off a pigeon attack of Hitchcock proportions. I spent half a day trying to sight in the scope, but to no avail.
With almost a complete day shot, nor a pigeon, I tried to shake off the frustration and trudged back to my office to get some writing done. That’s when I saw my arch nemesis on the high window ledge above the french doors in my office peering down on me with pride, mocking me from above.
I jumped up and ran out the doors, scooped up a fistful of gold landscape rocks and hurled them Nolan Ryan style at the pesky house crasher.
A few days later as I pulled into my driveway I scanned the ridge lines and nooks and crannies for my enemy. He stood boldly and defiantly on top of the fireplace stack above my office… That’s when I noticed my adversary was doing it on one leg…
That was over a month ago…
I often struggle to have compassion for anything or anyone in life when I’m too focused on rising above, gaining ground. In the struggle for survival in this river of life we end up with scars, some seen, some unseen, but we all have them, our enemies and us.
Our Father has given us wisdom to know that we all struggle in the river and when we reach the other side is up to Him. In the struggle, we’re not called to just survive, but to thrive. And that can only be done when we see others, including our enemies, the way our Father sees all of us.
I don’t like what my enemy the pigeon does, but I respect his struggle…
Now if I could only get him to respect mine…