Coyotes and Other Hazardous Threats
By Diane Markins
Coyotes frequently show up on my street. No, I don’t live in the middle of Montana, I live smack in the middle of Phoenix—a major metropolis. But my neighborhood is bordered by a desert mountain preserve, and since there is no giant wall with a Keep Out sign posted, wildlife and city dwellers often cross paths. My sweet, aging tabby (Bagheera—we called him Baggie) was snatched from our front yard a couple years ago by one of these hungry hunters, never to be seen again.
This can present a problem in that many of us city folk have beloved pets stashed away in our homes and yards. We have the illusion that they are safe but the truth is that a coyote can, and will, jump a six foot fence without breaking stride to get a tasty morsel you affectionately know as Mitzy. Red Tail hawks and Great Horned Owls are also out scouting for sustenance and can swoop down from the sky right into a fenced back yard to grab an eight pound kitty or even a ten pound dog. This was recently demonstrated by the fact that Lucy, an 11 1/2 –pound terrier mutt survived an owl attack because she was just a bit too heavy to be carried away like Toto.
The common thread is that these predators hunt stealthily for food and don’t care about your love affair with it. They also don’t know that it is supposed to be protected.
Just as we are lulled into a false sense of security about our pets’ safety, we often forget that there are hazards all around us that threaten our existence too. They come in the form of busyness that can snatch our attention from our family; fear that can keep us from trying something new; materialism that can cause us to lose perspective; lust which can damage our marriage; pride which can cause us to put ourselves ahead of others and hopelessness which can diminish our faith and rob our joy. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to kill, steal and destroy.”
These marauders are just as treacherous as any wily coyote or cunning hawk. They are also insidious. They sneak up on us and we never see them enter our life but they are a serious threat all the same. Prevention is clear; “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” Romans 13:14
Just as pet lovers in my ‘hood have to take extra precautions, there are things we can all do to prevent the destructive powers of skewed thinking. Create a checklist and ask yourself these questions periodically:
- Am I investing my time in things that matter most?
- Do I take action based on fear or faith?
- Are there things I love and am not willing to part with?
- Is my romantic/sexual attention focused on the right spot?
- Do I acknowledge daily that without God and the support of others I’m pretty average?
- How successful am I at identifying joy and hope in the midst of trials?
Those questions (and others that come to mind) are the hardware you need to build a protective wall around your heart and mind. Preventing attacks is much wiser (and less painful) than treating a wounded life.
Any personal encounters with one of the natural enemies listed above? I’ve had plenty!
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Diane Markins writes and speaks in a "high def, life-transforming style" about issues that impact daily living.She is the host of Women in High Def radio show, but is also a speaker and writer. She enjoys travel and has been from Mexico to Zimbabwe but always loves coming home to roost in Arizona near her family. See more of her writing at DianeMarkins.com.
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