My neighbor’s kid, he’s a squatter. No…literally, a squatter. The kid lives on my side lawn. From dawn till dusk he’s there….in my yard. But it’s not his uninvited presence that irks me. It’s the fact that, well, like I said…he’s a squatter. The kid literally will drop trow and cop a squat anywhere. I don’t know why. Could be nature, could be nurture. I don’t know. But I do know where…my lawn!
Now when in the course of this six year olds life he decided to go ‘free range’ is a mystery to me. Like a lawn gnome that leaves you wondering, “Why?” this kid’s presence and miscreant activities leave me befuddled. There are only two things I know for sure:
- He’s not my kid. I’ve got four of my own and while their names may occasionally escape me I still recognize their faces!
- This isn’t his yard. I verify that fact with every monthly mortgage payment!
So the question remains, “What event in the course of this six year olds life led him to believe that my lawn is his? What instilled this squatter’s mentality?”
Truth is many of us are no different than my neighbor’s kid. We too go through this life as squatters. Laying claim to that which we paid no price for and ‘dumping’ on others along the way.
Jesus said, “…the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matthew 13:44 italics mine)
Far too often we see the field. We see the treasure in it, but like squatters we feed off the treasure without buying the field. Instead we hop the fence and free range. We call to God when in need and forget him when things are fine. We’ll attend church as long as it doesn’t go over one hour. We want programs for our kids, but were just too busy to help teach. We’ll freely give our opinion as to the latest message, event, lack of event, and the general state of everything holy, yet refuse to be a part of any potential solution. And let’s not forget about our wallets which instinctively pucker up tighter than a snare drum or are conveniently not on us when the offering plate is passed.
Squatters take while refusing to give. They ingest, but the only impartation they deposit is similar to that which can be found on my lawn!
Now if you’re young in your spiritual life you may not know any better. Like my neighbor’s kid. When he was two or three and still potty training it wasn’t that big of deal. But eventually time moves on and so should we. At six the kid should know better and spiritually we should too.
There really is little excuse for prolonged immaturity. At its core it’s simply selfishness. My neighbor’s kid doesn’t want to be inconvenienced to stop playing and go to his own house to use the bathroom. He doesn’t want to pay that price. Don’t let it be that way in your spiritual life.
Remember, while we are commanded to love everybody…nobody likes a squatter.