He will again have compassion on us; He will vanquish our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:19
It was years ago but trust me…it is still fresh in my memory. We had made one of our journeys to the land of grits and collards to see family. We enjoyed some good southern cooking, some great times of fellowship and revisited several places from Judy’s childhood and our days together before God and the Air Force sent us on the next chapter of great adventures. There’s no place like home, Dorothy said it and I agree.
We decided to do something different so rather than stay with the relatives, we rented a nice Victorian home in Valdosta at a very reasonable rate. It was wonderfully decorated, and we had the whole house to ourselves. The location was great, the hot tub in the backyard was great, everything was just great…and then I looked in the sink. Something was moving.
After we arrived, we were still checking out the place and my wife Judy and I went into the kitchen and happened to look in the sink and there were some rotten banana peels lying there. Well, that wasn’t too cool. Who would leave rotten banana peels in the kitchen sink of a nice rental house anyway? The answer—no one. You see, about that time one of the banana peels moved! Yikes—they weren’t banana peels after all—they were—BATS—five of them.
Well, I mustered my courage and threw a towel over them, scooped them up and tossed them out the door. There—gross but end of the story—nothing could be worse than that—right? Wrong. That evening we were watching some TV and I stepped out of the room to hear Judy holler “Dewayne, here’s another one!” Sure enough, one was walking across the floor, so out he went. Then I looked and one was hanging on the fireplace screen—out he went too. Well, surely it can’t….don’t bet on it. We went to bed that night and I dozed off pretty quickly…Judy didn’t. Soon, I heard, “Dewayne, there’s one flying around in the room!” Well, she was wrong…there wasn’t one–there were two. The batman (that’s me) knocked ‘em down and hauled them out and called the owner.
The next day a bat removal guy came. He told us he had been there the previous Saturday and had patched a couple of entrances he assumed the bats were using. I guess he missed one…or two. Well, he searched the house and came up with seven more bats. Can you believe this? He patched and sealed some more entrances and we thought that was the end of problem—finally! Well, that is we thought. Long story short—by the end of the week we had removed 25 bats from the house. He caught and released them somewhere. It turns out they were endangered…more so than they knew.
This is one reason I said, “There’s no place like home.” The only bat at 217 W. Poplar is a ball bat! So, by now you are wondering, “Why didn’t you guys leave?” Well, the landlord did offer us a partial refund and there was a bed and breakfast down the road, but the bottom line was twofold. First, we really, really liked having the whole house to ourselves and in such a good location. Second, I didn’t know on day one that there were 25 bats in the house—I always thought the last one was the last one. I was wrong.
I wonder if my reluctance to leave explains why some people continue in a bad habit or a sin even though everything in the world is telling them to get out. It becomes obvious that we like the habit or the sin. Sin can be pleasurable but mark it down—it not only offends God, but it is also expensive (on a couple of different levels) and it can wreak havoc in your life (or your vacation). Secondly, sin will take you further than you want to go and make you stay longer than you want to stay. I kept thinking the last bat was the last bat but there was always one more. Finally, the week was gone and if nothing else I became an expert at bat removal.
So, if you need a house to stay at in Valdosta and you don’t mind bats let me know. I can promise you it will be an interesting visit to say the least. Personally, it just about drove me batty…pun definitely intended. Oh, and if you need someone to help you remove some of the “bats” from your life, I know just the One. He is my Dearest Daddy, and He would love to help you out. He will cast those pesky “sin bats” to the bottom of the sea. You can trust Him…He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne