May 17 - Pack Rat Day
Bigger a mouse, the wood rat is a name that is given to over 20 species of rats that live throughout the United States and elsewhere. The pack rat, one of the wood rat species, is especially known for gathering things for his nest, and even just for his pile of stuff outside his nest. The "pile" is called a midden. It might contain bones, sticks, and other things stolen from humans. He has especially a keen eye for shiny things. If he is carrying something and sees something else that is shiny, he will drop whatever he has just so he can carry the shiny items.
Sometimes people are called a "pack rat" because they gather worthless things or have a hard time getting rid of things. These might be things that have absolutely no value, or maybe just aren't needed anymore. It reminds me of a friend who was cleaning out his grandmother's house after she had died. In the top of the closet they found a box labeled, "Pencils, too short to sharpen." My question is, why would you keep them if you can't ever sharpen them? That is what a human pack rat is.
I am a pack rat. I have books that I read 20 years ago and will never read again. I have papers my kids did in Kindergarten that really have no particular value or meaning, but my kids touched them once so they might want them again someday. I have old storage containers that I might need again someday.
Sometimes people who lived through the depression have a tendency to save things because they remember the days when they didn't have anything. Sometimes people who don't have much food at home tend to gather food items just in case they get hungry. Sometimes we gather things just to fill our closets and sheds. But the Bible says in Matthew, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin (critters) destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." So today would be a good day to look around at the stuff you've saved. Do you need it? Are you a pack rat? Make sure that you are storing your treasures in heaven instead of your own "midden".
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Writen by Sue Van Hal, Children's Church Leader