It would have been an uneventful vacation for the most part for me and Dave. The boys were visiting special family and we were at a beautiful cabin on a porch swing enjoying a morning coffee. I put on the bandage he'd given me and walked over to the corner to adjust the table there. I then asked Dave if he left the car door open when he went for a band-aid in the first aid kit ... because it was. wide. open.
It was a quick run, but he had gotten it out of the back and closed the trunk.
Like us, people generally do leave their car doors locked in the Smokey Mountain area. But not because of wanton passersby who suddenly have the urge to pillage. Nope. It's because BEARS suddenly have the urge to pillage!
And yes, a great many of them can open your car door. Sometimes right in front of you! They don't care. And neither did these THREE bears who had jumped in our Lexus. I do not speak of papa, mama, and baby bears from the fabled story. I speak of Mama Bear and her two younguns. Yup. What noone tells you about bears, specifically Smokey Mountain black bears, is that THEY HAVE AMAZING DEXTERITY. They got INTO OUR CLOSED CAR. We had not locked it. But big deal! We were in the mountains, for pity's sake!
"Pay me no mind," she would have said, if she could. "I'm just going to loot your car as my cubs crawl around in the back and pretend their on a joy ride. I'm also going to get in the front and open every possible opening in here. Looking for some, um, 'bear' necessities. Just ... walk away ..."
We tried the key's automatic honk. FROM THE WINDOW. Twice. Nothing. We tried calling the park rangers and didn't get a response. We tried standing there worrying. The only thing that got them out was boredom and scarcity. Well, our insufficient stock seemed to work, because they finally piled out of the car and traipsed away ...
...to the next house to swing on the hammock. Think I'm kidding?
Dave only retrieved a band-aid, closed the car door, and went inside. He was gone from our vehicle for what seemed like less than thirty minutes before our visitors showed up. I won't be surprised if I ever find out that even if we had locked the car, they knew how to pick it. Stinkers.
For hours there was a bear-butt mark on Avary's pillowcase. And after a few rides in the front seat, well, I think that I have bear fleas. If that's a thing. No matter. We are okay, our car is okay, and we have a great story now.
But the new family story got me to thinking ...
But David said to Saul, "Your servant was tending his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock ..." I Samuel 17:34
Most of us can identify with at least a little bit of the need to recharge ourselves. There is nothing wrong with taking some “down time,” relaxing after a long day, using the time to recharge and reflect on life. But there we were, enjoying a nice morning on the porch swing, not even CONSIDERING bears in our car.
So here is one thing to reflect: is there anything in your life that has been left unattended because you aren't paying attention? Responsibilities? Relationships? Your health? YOURSELF?
Yes, it is okay to relax and recharge, but I'm now going to be one of those preachers who make a lesson out of everything! "Bear" with me ... *snort*
In a world full of madness, it can be easy to get distracted and lose focus on what is right in front of us. Being mindful of how well you engage (with others, not with bears!) is a crucial consideration throughout your life. Listening and paying attention to others when they are with you is a sign of real respect and a skill that will lead to deeper and better ANY relationship. More than likely, you'll also learn a lot more about your people and your surroundings by actively PAYING ATTENTION! I'm just saying ... we didn't lock the car. Bears got in. We didn't die. But we were lucky we happened to look when we did.
What is it that you may need to pay more attention to in life? What, according to you, matters the most? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. And if I get to catch ya later in person ... hopefully I will not have bear fleas. Again, if that's even a thing ...