Tag Archives: survival

Crows: Smarter Than…

The crow was minding his own business. Doing what crows do. Pecking, searching for morsels of food in the lawn near the hotel.

My husband and I, vacationing in the Northwest, had just climbed out of our car at the hotel parking lot.

Just as we finished unloading our luggage from the trunk I heard an outraged “caw, caw.” A flock of seagulls had spotted the crow, landed, and formed a threatening circle. They took turns harassing him, lunging forward for a nip at his tail or his wings.

Finally, in desperation, the crow broke through the malevolent group and flapped upward into a ponderosa tree. Once on top of a bough, he scrabbled further within the protective spiny leaves.

Mean-intentioned as the seagulls were, they didn’t dare try to follow Mr. Crow. Sea gulls are ill-equipped—with their long narrow wings meant for soaring over bodies of water, and webbed feet,—to land on tree branches.

From his safe perch within the pine boughs, Mr. Crow taunted the sea gulls, who screamed their fury back at him.

Because I love suspense, I’d stayed to watch the scene unfold. I am always amazed at the smarts demonstrated by the so-called “dumb” animals.

Crows are really smart. From a high vantage point, they scout out their surroundings and shout warnings to their cohorts of lurking danger.  They avoid seagull mobs by going where no seagull has gone before. They’re social and adaptable.

But people:

  1.  venture into danger—whether physical or emotional— and tell themselves they can handle any difficulty that arises.
  2.  often ignore warnings
  3.  get their “hackles” raised when a friend or relative tries to give wise advice.
  4.  try to outrun trains at railroad crossings.

Wouldn’t it be great to be as smart as a crow every day? To know just exactly what to do when danger surrounds?

Our wise heavenly Father has blessed us with His Book. Not to make us miserable, or to hold us back, but to protect us and keep us from wandering into dangerous situations.

Just like the wise crow, I need to be equipped for my own type of survival every day… by reading and studying God’s Word.

The fear of God builds up confidence and makes a world safe for your children.” (verse from Proverbs 14, The Message)

Writers and Squirrels

Whether we’re talking about tree squirrels, or ground squirrels, or chipmunks, or golden-mantled squirrels, we’re taking about hard workers.

Squirrels climb and excavate, investigate and forage.

I love to watch them scamper about the property. They form communities and help keep watch for predators.

They gather food, carry it back to their nests. Or stash the food some safe place. Spring 2010 050Some of the food is for now, some for leaner times.

Sometimes a squirrel appears to be lazing in the sun, its little paws slung over a tree branch, its eyes closed in blissful slumber. But even then the squirrel is working at storing energy for the next big burst of food gathering.

Yep, the squirrel is a hard worker. He knows his survival depends on continuously seeking food, storing it, providing for his babies, looking out for cats and coyotes, hawks and ravens.

Writers are like that, too. We know that, to sit back and stop growing, to stop writing toward a goal, to stop editing, to stop learning, to stop seeking other writing avenues… means that we cease to exist as writers.

The world will pass us by if we only half-heartedly pursue the life of the writer.

Stay busy, writers. Whether it’s critiquing and being critiqued, meeting other writers, studying the craft, finishing your first draft—or 12th draft—or just spending a few days on brain-neutral as you explore ideas for your next writing project: stay busy as a squirrel!

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart…” (Col.3:23 NIV Bible)


Think and Live

Panic stole my ability to think logically.

Driving home late at night, I was on a parkway heading north. In a few  miles, the parkway would T and I would make the left turn onto the road that would take me to familiar neighborhoods and eventually, my own house. Continue reading Think and Live

Run Away!

I was talking with a new friend the other day and we got onto the subject of survival. Somehow the conversation progressed to what to do when you hear strange noises in the house.

My friend said, “If I hear a strange noise at night I go and find out what it is.”

She’s a brave one. Yessir. Reminds me of those scary movies where the pretty young woman investigates the strange noise in the basement. “Is anybody down there?”

That’s not my style, not by a long shot. Some might call me timid, even cowardly. But I prefer to think of myself as prudent and realistic. You see, I grew up in the San Francisco bay area. And if there was a strange noise, it might very well be an intruder. My father chased away peeping Toms, and other prowlers on our property more than once.

Years ago, my grandmother woke up to a strange noise and a tiny light. She got up to investigate and discovered a burglar going through her dresser. Fortunately, the bad guy was as scared and startled as she, and high-tailed it out of her house without harming her.

So, no, I am not going to investigate. Instead, if the night-time noise is truly suspicious, I’ve got my cell phone by the bed and I can call 911. When my husband is on a business trip, I keep the bedroom door locked, and I have a weapon nearby. I’ve also mapped out a plan of escape should that ever become necessary.

I know just enough about evil to be prepared, but not enough to meet it head-on without a lethal weapon.

I think there’s a parallel in scripture relating to our spiritual safety. The Bible says to flee evil.

1 Cor. 6:18 says to flee from sexual immorality.

1 Cor. 10: 14 instructs believers to flee from idolatry.

1 Timothy 6:11 sums up what we are to flee from: envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions, constant friction, lust for wealth.

2 Timothy 2:22 warns us to flee the evil desires of youth.

Rather than imagining that I’m capable in my own flesh of seeking out and battling these evils, I hope that I trust the Master of my “house” to guard and protect me.

Ephesians 6:10 encourages us to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

Have you ever had to flee from evil, in your house or otherwise?

What safety measures did you construct?