My husband is a critter man. He loves to catch, chase, and get rid of unwanted critters around our place, but he especially likes to help others move these unwanted varmints out of their yards. Lately he has had friends call about catching armadillos, and there is nothing he loves more than getting rid of one of those little fellas.
Rumor has it that if you put a live or recently killed armadillo in a trap, the scent will attract the other ones, and hopefully help in the catching process. We have been threatening to find a freshly smashed one on the road and carry it to a friend’s house for a couple of weeks now to bait her trap. Today it was too hot to be outside, so we decided to ride around, just to get out of the house. While we rode, we told the boys to keep a look out for a dead armadillo, just in case. Well, this statement turned into my children saying, every five minutes, “Nope, no armadillo yet. When are we going to find one?”
Let me just say, whiny kids that keep asking the same question and getting an answer that leaves them disappointed makes a leisurely drive through the country not so fun anymore. They were so stuck on finding an armadillo that they missed all of the other scenery along the way. Beautiful fields, lovely old homes, amazing climbing trees, and tons of cloud formations were all a part of the drive, but they were so stuck on that one thing, they missed all of it.
We get like that too, don’t we? We get stuck on that one thing and we can’t move forward. We look to every new thing to fill the emptiness inside and nothing ever satisfies. Or we get so angry about political agendas and government issues that we are blinded to the needs of others right under our noses. Or we get hurt, rejected, mislead, or conspired against and never let anyone close for fear of being hurt again. Or we let fear control us and we hide within the walls of our homes and believe self-made conspiracy theories. And slowly, the wonderful scenery of life disappears. We are no longer able to simply enjoy the ride. We become saturated in self, worry, fear and frustration and miss the amazing views of the life all around us. All because we get singularly focused on finding a dead armadillo.
Open your eyes to the world around you. See your brother or sister across the street. Find a way to be a part of your community. Get back in the truck and ride through life with eyes wide open, taking in everything without being distracted. And make sure not to waste the ride hunting for dead armadillos.