As the Christmas season approaches, and colder weather creeps in on us, my thoughts turn to . . . rodents in the chimney.
Please understand, I would rather write about something else, today. Almost anything else. But the truth is, this morning when I got up to begin the day my plans were trumped by the encroachment of a varmint in the chimney, probably an R.O.U.S. (for more information, see The Princess Bride).
He is clearly above the chimney flue and not in the firebox itself (thank goodness), but he [I apologize for any sexist slur implied; I could just as easily have said “she” but women don’t like being compared with rodents as a rule] has been quite busy building, tearing down, straightening his living space, or . . . I don’t know what all else.
I decided that a trip to Kroger for a combustible firelog would be in order. My plan was to heat (or smoke) this guy out of his new found apartment forthwith. I purchased the log, placed it in the firebox, lit the match, and waited with great anticipation for the heat and smoke to rise through the flue, knowing I would be delighted to hear the scurrying paws (or whatever it is they have) as the unwanted intruder departed, running for his life.
Instead . . .
To my chagrin I heard increased activity from the little interloper. After this persisted for some time I realized that I had just provided what must have been welcome warmth to the busy creature. I could just imagine him saying, “Wow! I had no idea this apartment came with central heat!”
There is no clear place of entry from the outside (that I can see), but there must be some way he entered our domain. [I knew I should have left up those NO TRESPASSING signs. Now look what’s happened!]
When Joseph and Mary made their trek to Bethlehem lo these many centuries ago they searched for an Inn in which Mary could give birth to the baby Jesus. And finding “no room at the Inn” they settled for a stable, and laid the babe in a manger, a feed trough for animals.
And I suppose the unidentified creature inhabiting my chimney has done something similar. Although, I suspect that just as soon as he can get into the Inn he will do so!
You may not appreciate the fact that I have compared the rodent intrusion of my residence with the birth of the Christ child in a stable, but . . . [Work with me here, OK? I’m trying hard to make lemonade from lemons, all right?].
I suppose the besetting of my plans is something I should realize is always a possibility. And that implies a resetting of my plans, sometimes done (as they say) “on the fly.”
The fact that Joseph and Mary could not find a birthing place befitting the King of the Universe seems incredible at first blush. But seen in its larger context it becomes remarkably fitting. And so . . . I will try to see my situation in a similar light, today.
As stated in the previous blog entry (Casting Call), my life is not a script over which I have absolute control; sometimes I have no control whatsoever. And truthfully, (although I would love to give it a try) if I wrote the script of my life and had the power to make it come about as written, it would not be nearly as interesting, not nearly as helpful to others, not nearly as transforming for me – as the one I am living.
So . . . I will accept (albeit a bit begrudgingly) this little trespasser, and deal with whatever havoc he may wreak. Face it! At worst, he has given me something to blog about, today. And at best? Well . . . we’ll just have to see how this one turns out, won’t we?
It’s just that way when . . . there is no room at the Inn.