Excerpt from
The Jensen Family

Probably he got caught in a steel trap like this one over here," their dad said, pointing to an exhibit in the next case.
"But how could he get free from that?" Julie asked.

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– posted 12.04.2009

#3: The Mysterious Hole

A Character story about stewardship.

"Daddy, Daddy, come quick!" Julie shouted from the back door.
Mr. Jensen jumped up and dashed toward the call. "What is it? What's the matter?"
"I want you to see this hole out here in the back yard," Julie urged, excitedly.
"Is that all? I thought it was some kind of emergency, "Mr. Jensen sighed with relief.
"I think it is, Daddy. It may be a snake hole! Hurry up and see for yourself." She grabbed his hand and started pulling him through the doorway.
"OK, OK, I'm coming," he chuckled. "I should be used to your bubbly nature by now." They both walked unto the back yard and up a small hill.
"Look right here," Julie said, pointing toward a two inch hole in the lawn. "I think it might be a snake hole because, look, there is no dirt around it."
Mr. Jensen knelt down to examine it more closely. "Hmmm. That's very observant of you, Sissy. What do you think happened to the dirt that came out of it?"
Julie thought for a moment. Then her face lit up. "I know! God said that snakes would eat dirt all their lives. I'll bet he ate it!"
Mr. Jensen laughed. "Well, I'm glad you believe the Bible, but I don't think that's quite what it means. Actually, snakes do learn by eating dirt, but I'll tell you about that another time. You can relax though, because I know the rascal that made this hole and he's not a snake. Come into the house and I'll show you his picture." They both went into the living room where Mr. Jensen took a nature book from their shelf. He paged through it for a short time and then stopped.
"Here it is," declared Mr. Jensen, pointing at a colored picture.
"A chipmunk? Are you sure? I mean, how do you know that's a chipmunk hole, Daddy?"
"For one thing, I saw him last Saturday when I was working in the garden. But also, look here, it says that the chipmunk will dig a hole and then carry the dirt away so that his home is not easily spotted."
"Hey, that's pretty clever," Julie admitted. "Does it tell how deep he digs his hole?"
"Well, let's see," said Mr. Jensen as he began to scan the page again. "This says that the tunnel will go five feet deep and will have a bedroom, a bathroom, and three to six food storage rooms."
"Wow!" Julie exclaimed. "That's a lot of rooms! I guess he won't run out of food this winter."
"That's for sure. He sleeps most of the winter but if he gets hungry. he runs to the storeroom and gets a snack and then runs back to the bedroom. He has enough food to last through the Spring, until the crops grow again."
Julie was deep in thought for a moment. "You know, Daddy, Mom and I were chipmunks yesterday. We cut up the green beans from the garden and put them in the freezer. Then we cooked the tomatoes and put those in jars. We were like chipmunks, storing food for the winter, right?"
"Right," Mr. Jensen responded with a grin. "And I was really pleased to hear that you were willing to help and didn't complain when your friends came to play." Mr. Jensen gave his daughter a big squeeze.
Julie smiled. "I want to do my best for Jesus, and do what He asks me to do."
"I'm really glad. The Bible says that a diligent person will store up during the harvest, knowing that the winter is coming. Chipmunks have been known to store a bushel of food in three days. But you know, even if we don't farm, there will be a time for everyone when we won't be able to work any longer. Know when that is?"
"When we get sick?" Julie suggested.
"That's true, but I was thinking of the time when our lives come to an end. It will be so important that we each have our treasures stored in a very secure place then."
"I know where that is," Julie announced. "We're supposed to lay us treasures in Heaven. Jesus said that, didn't He?"
"Yes, in Matthew chapter six. How do you think we can obey that command?"
Julie thought again. "Well, by making sure that we have Jesus as our Saviour first. And then I guess by obeying what He says in the Bible."
"That's exactly right, Sissy. So when you did your best in helping Mother yesterday, you were laying up stores for the family, and you were laying up stores in Heaven. You were double pleasing to the Lord!"
Julie beamed.

© 1997 James W. Swanson