Faith & Inspiration
By Charles Towne
Traps come in many sizes, shapes and forms. And before we go any further, just what constitutes a trap?
Well, in it’s crudest form, there are dead-fall traps. The dead-fall trap is made of a heavy weight, such as a log or a boulder, that is positioned over a game trail in such a way that when an unwary animal triggers the dead-fall, the aforementioned weight falls and kills the animal.
Then there is the snare. Again, when the incautious animal trips the snare, a noose snaps tight around the animal’s neck resulting in its demise.
And then there is the steel leg-hold trap, which is pretty well described by its name.
All traps are designed to confine the victim to deadly intent.
When trapped, animals, out of sheer desperation have been known to fight the thing that holds them, until, out of desperation, they die, or if they escape, they are crippled.
Now, what might encourage you or I to facing such difficult situations in life that feel akin to a trap?
Decisions! It seems too often there are no easy decisions, are there? Sometimes we just wish they’d go away. But then, ‘no decision is a decision’, isn’t it?
We have all heard someone say, “I am trapped in a dead-end job and I can’t see any hope for the future!” Boy, this one is a biggie.
And we can’t minimize the following one can we, “I am trapped in an abusive relationship, and I fear for my life!” Wow!
And then there is the issue of our physical health. This third category, when first glimpsed, might seem the most daunting, but on closer examination, it might be the easiest to escape, or resolve. There is something about illnesses, especially bigger ones – such as a stroke, heart attack, or cancer – that present their own set of challenges, and by their very intensity, force us to resolve them, where we might otherwise ignore them.
Occupations, relationships, physical setbacks – it doesn’t matter what the situation is, we all face difficult ones at one point or another, but we don’t face them alone. Those physical issues, whether they are our own, or that of a loved one, can certainly challenge the status quo if forced to face them on our own… but I have learned that I am never alone; our God is always with us.
I am in a very challenging situation right now; but then, life itself is challenging, isn’t it?
I love my wife.
She has Alzheimer’s disease.
I don’t love the Alzheimer’s disease.
So, what do I do?
Do I run away?
When faced with a difficult situation, it seems that sometimes animals are more understanding, more perceptive, more loving even than humans. Take wolves for instance. The following example was observed in the vast wilderness area of Canada’s British Columbia. A male wolf was trapped and its mate refused to abandon him. The male fought the steel trap but found it impossible to escape. Personally, had I been there, I would have been forced to end the animal’s suffering, but for over a week his mate was observed carrying water and bits of meat in her mouth to the male. The trapped male eventually died, but even then the female stayed for another two days, mourning the death of her mate. And some call them “dumb” animals.
No matter what the challenge we face, no matter how “trapped” we may feel, Papa God is there with us, holding your hand and mine.
Believe me my friend, we are not alone!
He has walked with me on the difficult path of multiple heart attacks and other of life’s difficulties. He has protected me all my life, including through all my foolishness, and He has His hand on me still, and He will guide you the same way! Why? Because He loves us beyond anything we can imagine.
Prayer of the Entrapped
Dear Papa God, please… please protect me as only you can. Oh Holy One, oh gracious and merciful God, my holy and loving Friend, draw near to me and guide me through the challenging, and sometimes even beguiling difficulties of life’s traps and snares. If not for You, these traps might otherwise cause me to become so ensnared that I would fall away from You… so guide me as only You can, as only You know I need. Thank you Papa, thank you. I love You in my humanity because You have first loved me. Amen and amen.
Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.