The other night I was watching an episode of the survival show ‘Alone’. It is a show where people survive with just a few things in, in the case, Patagonia. I don’t know much about Patagonia, except for the fact that I would like to go fishing there.
Well, these people, competing to last longer than each other in the outdoors, get hungry. One contestant decided to make some traps to catch a wild boar so he would have lots of meat to eat. There seemed to be lots of pigs around and nothing says survival quite like bacon.
This man made an elaborate trap and returned to it to find it tripped and no bait left but nothing in it.
The survivors were allowed a game camera and when he checked it, no wild boars had visited the trap. Instead, a fox had come by and stolen the bait before any oinkers could be trapped.
So the man made the trap fox-proof. He modified it so it was impossible for the fox to steal the bait. The fox stole the bait anyway.
Over and over the man was outwitted by the fox and finally had to admit defeat. His time wasted on the fox cost him victory as he went hungry and inevitably went home after getting so hungry he could not go on in the competition.
I cannot begin to tell you how much time I wasted trying to outwit my depression, trying to capture it as it stole from me over and over again. Often, I was driven so far toward insanity that I stopped trying to make my trap fox-proof. I tried over and over, expecting something different to happen, by doing the same old thing.
I’ve finally learned that the fox isn’t going away. He isn’t going to fall into a trap and die. I have to learn to live in the same neighborhood he lives in.
I need to focus on getting what I need to be a better person despite the fox. I have to stop trying to bait him into becoming my next meal by sacrificing my health and well-being.
As a kid we sang:
The devil is a sly old fox
If I could catch him I’d throw him in a box
Lock the box and throw away the key
For all those things he’s done to me.
My depression isn’t the devil but it has given me a devil of a time and the father of lies can really convince a depressed man that some pretty irrational things are true. If the fox gets me bent on chasing him, and ignoring living a sane life, I might as well put a welcome mat out that says, “Come on in, I’ll believe anything.”
Proverbs 13:15 A person with good sense is respected; a treacherous person is headed for destruction.
Even though, when chasing the fox, I think I am going to do myself some good, I engage in all sorts of foolishness trying to capture a ghost. I have to resort to disregard things that can make my life great even with the fox hanging around.
I need to use good sense and simply push the fox away. Chasing him causes me to be distracted from living and obeying God’s commands and points me on a path to destruction.
I have decades of ruinous living behind me. I’m only learning to experience a better life using good sense despite my sometimes malfunctioning brain.
I’m not going to play with the fox today. Today, I live a good life.