Recently, I took a trip across the country in my wife’s car. On the way back, I kept hearing a rattling noise under the dashboard. I thought maybe the fan in the air-conditioner was going bad but half way through my trip, the noise stopped and the air started working again.
The day after I returned, my wife, Shary, was taking my daughter somewhere in the car and all of a sudden, something flew out from under the dash and landed on my daughter’s window. At first glance, they thought it was a big moth but realized it was a bat. The bat was confused and afraid and flew all over the front of the car. Shary and Abby simultaneously screamed and laughed. Then, in a twist of events, the bat somehow made it into my wife’s seat between the seat and her back. I’m sure you can imagine the panic in my wife. She quickly pulled off the road and fumbled at the seatbelt until she could “escape.” When she threw open the door, the relieved bat flew off. After Shary caught her breath, they laughed and laughed. It was a great story!
As I thought about the bat, I thought about how we pick up “bats” or unsolicited baggage in life’s journey and many times, we don’t even realize it. That’s why we must pay attention to what we expose ourselves and watch our attitudes. Several times, Paul told us in the New Testament to pay attention, walk carefully, because the “days are evil”.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Ephesians 5:15-17
If we are not careful and protect ourselves, if we don’t pay close attention, these “bats” manifest at some of the most inopportune times, like the bat, and usually, it not only will affect us but others around us. As an example, pride is one of those tricky “bats.” Most of the time, we don’t wake up one morning and say, “Today, I think I’ll be prideful!” Pride sneaks in. Maybe the pride trigger is success. Sometimes, it might be a defense mechanism. But pride does sneak in to all of our lives and it hurts us, our reputation, and many times those to whom we are closest. It’s one of the many “bats” that can attach itself to our lives.
The “bat” incident has made me take a closer look at some of the rattles under the dashboard, so to speak, in my life. If we listen, we can see some indicators of unwanted guests in our lives. As we do, we can’t ignore them, as I did, but we must take a closer look and find out what’s causing the problem. If we don’t, we could be looking at a wreck down the road.
Drive carefully and beware the bats!