We are not so different from the humble squirrel.

I work in a large brown metal building. My office contains the ground level front door, which is an old style glass door that was popular in retail establishments prior to electronic entries. There are advantages and disadvantages to this setup.

On the downside, everyone who enters the building does so through my office. Many of our clients mistake me for a receptionist and my office for a lobby. It’s a bit distracting. My office is also very dusty, and rain often leaks under the door during strong storms.

One of the advantages to my office location is the fact that I see a great deal of wildlife from my desk. I see birds, squirrels, rabbits, and the occasional groundhog. I also see the many different kinds of people who walk down the street in front of the building.

There is a little squirrel that lives in one of the trees nearby. He has been diligently gathering food for winter. Today, he slowly walked within inches of my door carrying a nut nearly as big as his body. The poor little guy’s load was barely manageable. Each step was measured as he carefully balanced his oversize bounty in his mouth. He stopped often to adjust the weight. He was determined to reach his destination with his burden in tow.

Watching him struggle to prepare for winter made me think about my own life. I’ve had many struggles. Just when I think life is getting really good, I struggle with something new. My grandmother used to say that I was being tested. Whether I pass or fail the test depends on my mindset, determination, and skills.

I think we are all like the squirrel once in a while. We carefully plan and store our nuts for winter. We balance our heavy loads, always cognizant of their value. Yet all it takes is one strong storm to completely decimate our hard work. We must choose where to store our nuts with great care and know where to find more in case of emergency.

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