We have a mouse. Several. Not pets, but uninvited guests. They arrived a few weeks ago and nothing we have done (traps, poison etc.) has been effective so far.

This morning I made toast for breakfast. Two slices of bread dropped into the toaster and on went the kettle for an accompanying cup of tea. A strange aroma brought me back to the toaster. Rather like burning human hair, I thought. Somewhat alarmed I turned off the toaster, removed the bread and discovered two baby mice barbecuing nicely on the wire mesh inside. Both dead. The toast went onto the bird feeder for their breakfast instead of mine.

The toaster looked like a heaven-sent bonanza to the mice. What’s not to like? I can imagine baby mouse 1 reporting the find to baby mouse 2…..

“Come and see! I’ve found the perfect place for dinner tonight. It’s almost as if someone knew how much we love breadcrumbs and stored them for us. Everything looks delicious and nutritious!”

Both mice entered a place that looked safe to them, but it hid a deadly secret called – electricity. My guess is that the mice were electrocuted long before I turned on the toaster. The danger was invisible, but very real.

How similar this is to the way sin works. The writer to the Hebrews puts it this way, “See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (Hebrews 3:12–13 NIV11)

A Christian begins their new life with a soft heart and a tender conscience. Keeping things this way is possible, but takes focussed attention. What is God’s plan for us? At least in part, the plan is for us to be watchmen and watch-women for one another.  The mice had no hope of anyone warning them because…well…they are mice. But we are different. We need each other to make sure “we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.” (Hebrews 3:14 NIV11)

Who is keeping you out of the spiritual toaster?

Malcolm Cox