Lessons from Life
Weekly Message
  • In January, 2004, the "One Minute Message" was renamed "Lessons from Life".

    "I believe this new name will be more descriptive of this message, and more in keeping with its mission and purpose. I hope you find it to be an encouragement in your life!"     - Randall Vaughn

Title:   A Better Mousetrap?
By Randall Vaughn

"...He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life."   (Prov 7:23b NLT)

It has been said,  "Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door."   Perhaps that is true, but have you ever thought about it from the mouse's perspective?

(Some have said to me,  "Vaughn, you get inspiration from the strangest things." Guilty as charged, but bear with me.)

Recently, some land had been cleared near my home, and some field mice decided that since their home had been destroyed, my home would be a good place for them.   I disagreed!   So, I bought mousetraps (spring traps and glue traps), baited them with nice chunks of extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (my favorite) - and waited.

After a while, I heard a loud SNAP.   I had caught a mouse!

I looked under the sink where the trap had been set, and sure enough, there was a mouse in the trap.  It was still alive, but only for a few seconds.   The mouse struggled to get free, but couldn't.  It died quickly.

(I do not wish to be gruesome in the following, but I have a purpose for graphic description.)

The mouse's mouth was still open in "mid-bite" around the chunk of cheese I had used for bait. Its body lay still with eyes that were protruding from their sockets from the pressure of the trap's spring behind its neck. Its spine had likely been broken by the "snap" of the spring, and its airway had been blocked by the clamping pressure.

For a few moments, let's explore that picture from the mouse's perspective.

The mouse had no perception that it was in grave danger from a being it could not understand or comprehend. The mouse had no frame of reference to even begin to understand this being (me). This being was far superior to the mouse in intellect, experience, age, cunning, strength, size, reasoning skills, abilities, etc.

All the mouse knew is that it had found something that appeared to be good - a warm shelter, available food and water, safety from predators - everything a mouse could want.

One day, as the mouse was exploring this wonderful new place, a new and alluring smell wafted across its path. The mouse had never smelled anything like this before. The mouse followed the scent, and found a strange looking chunk of yellow stuff. That's where that tantalizing smell was coming from! This delightful stuff had never been seen at the stump in the woods where the mouse used to live.

The mouse cautiously walked around the yellow stuff, looking this way and that. It could sense no danger. What could possibly be wrong with this stuff? It smelled so wonderful! The mouse wanted to taste the yellow stuff more than it had ever wanted to taste anything before, and anyway, it was hungry! What could be wrong? Just a little taste wouldn't hurt anything. If there was a problem, the mouse would run away as it had always done in the past when it sensed danger.

The mouse crept closer and closer to the wonderful yellow stuff. It sniffed. That stuff smelled so good. It couldn't resist. Just one little nibble. Had to try it. Closer. Closer. Opening the mouth. One last look around to be sure all was safe. Closer. Just one bite. Oh, this stuff smelled so good. It just had to be the best stuff the mouse had ever....


Enter the superior being (me).

I heard the snap, and thought to myself "Got one!"

I didn't care about the mouse. In fact, it was a pest, a nuisance, and a potential health risk to my son and me. I had intentionally baited a trap to catch the mouse for my purposes.

I baited the trap with what I knew would attract the mouse, something the mouse would find irresistible, something the mouse would HAVE to investigate, something that would satisfy one the basic drives of the mouse - the desire for food.

I was successful. I caught the mouse. The mouse is now dead. I then set another trap, awaiting the next victim.

I know the nature of mice. I knew what the mouse would do. The mouse did not know my nature or what I would do.

This is no different than the trap laid by the enemy of our souls to catch us and destroy us spiritually.

He is a being we cannot fully understand because his thinking is different than ours, his motives are different than ours, his methods are different than ours, and he wants to trap us, just as I wanted to trap that mouse.

He uses bait that he knows we cannot resist, because he knows our nature. He uses traps that we see no harm in investigating. He lures us into a dangerous environment that we do not understand or perceive.

And then, he springs the trap. WE ARE CAUGHT. We may struggle for a while, but we cannot get free of the trap. And like the mouse, the struggle is soon over... "but for the grace of God".

Only God can release you from that trap and heal the damage. He has already made the provision for your release through Jesus Christ.

My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare. (Psa 25:15 NIV)

The point of this message, however, is to give you a "picture" that will help you to never ever ever never ever look at sin the same way again.

I hope that every time you feel tempted, drawn away, enticed, encouraged, or compelled to "do it again", you will remember the graphic image of the lifeless body of that mouse, crushed by the unforeseen and unexpected SNAP of the powerful jaws of a trap that was INTENTIONALLY set to destroy it by a being it did not understand.

That could be you...  "but for the grace of God".

When you see the "yellow stuff" of temptation, RUN!   IT IS A TRAP!

The being that set the trap intends to catch you and destroy you if he can!   He doesn't care about you.   He will destroy you and then turn to the next victim.

RUN!   Run to Jesus.  He said,

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;  I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10 NIV)

The provision has already been made for your release from the trap that was intentionally set to ensnare you and destroy you.  Accept that provision today.  Accept Jesus and all that He has provided for you.  His gift to you is life.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Rom 6:23 NIV)

G. Randall Vaughn

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"Lessons from Life" ™ is written by Randall Vaughn
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