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Moose Crossing
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If you have ever run over a squirrel with your car or barely missed a deer or moose, you know the awful, helpless feeling of wishing for the ability to communicate with animals about their reckless behavior. Warning signs alert us to areas with high animal activity, but any animal, from armadillos to zebras, can create problems for drivers.

Too bad animals can’t read signs. I once saw a cartoon depicting animals about to cross a busy highway, but seeing a car crossing warning sign, they changed their minds. If only…

Animals cross busy roads because roads are built over their travel routes. Humans don’t consult animals when they build roads. Sometimes, if an area of highway becomes especially dangerous to both traffic and animals, special animal passages are built over the road so animals can cross safely from one side to the other. Experts once constructed a tunnel under a busy Southern California freeway because after the road was built they discovered the highway bisected a well-traveled route of mountain lions and they needed a way to safely cross the freeway.

As frustrated as we may be at animals and their lack of sensibility when it comes to crossing roads, we humans aren’t much different. Once we get into the habit of doing something a certain way we often continue the behavior even if it isn’t working, and may be downright harmful.

Are We Like Animals?

Are we like animals that simply follow their instincts? Is it that we don’t know any better? If that were the case anyone practicing a harmful behavior like smoking, eating poorly or not exercising would remedy their behavior once they were informed of the negative consequences.

Let’s face it: behavior modification is very difficult. Anyone trying to lose weight or quit smoking will tell you how hard it is. But to not change, to continue doing reckless or dangerous behaviors that impact our quality of life and relationships is hurtful to everyone.

Unlike animals who rely on instinct, humans have higher cognitive abilities. We can reason, linking behaviors with consequences much better than most animals. The good news is that God has equipped us with what we need to quit crossing dangerous highways like deer or moose.

Perhaps the place to begin is with a reality check. Fill in the blank with your personal human equivalent: “I don’t dart in front of cars like squirrels, but I __________.” Once you’ve stated reality, educate yourself on what positive behaviors you need to substitute. Find someone to provide support and accountability. Pray for wisdom. Pray for perseverance. Pray for motivation and will power.

God’s word tells us, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13). He doesn’t say it will be easy, but He does promise success when we partner with Him.

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By Nancy Gerard. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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