Written by Sally Moore

This time last year I forgot to lock my car. A houseful of company had just left and there were summertime activities in town I was thinking of. Usually very vigilant, on this day, it absolutely slipped my mind.

At dusk, I was in the house and heard a noise. Thinking my husband had returned from his errand, I went to the window and looked down at the driveway, thinking he might need some help.

It was not he. But, I noticed the driver’s door of our other car parked in the drive was standing wide open. If I lived in the big city, I would think thieves and robbers. My heart sank, because in my neighborhood, BEARS are the perpetual threat.

I rightly assumed a bear had gotten into our newer car- I began yelling, hoping to scare it out -and off!

My antics did not elicit activity from car with the open door, as I anticipated.  My calls did, however, activate something large within my Toyota 4 Runner parked on the other side of our wide drive. Suddenly, it began to rock, roll, jiggle and bounce and occasionally the horn would honk!  I couldn’t quite make it out through the tinted windows, but there was definitely a bear in my car. He was in full freak-out mode and desperately wanted out!

Yogi, it seems had learned this great trick of opening car doors (without benefit of opposable thumbs) and was going around town from vehicle to vehicle, assuming one, eventually would have a bag of cheetos or a pic-i-nic basket therein. Finding nothing interesting in the first car, he had moved on to the next -but, this time, my car door had slammed shut behind him . He was trapped!

A short time later, the local sheriff came, and with gun drawn (just in case) opened the door, freeing the hysterical bear.

In his panic to escape, that yearling black bear had ripped the interior of my car to shreds. The side panels of every door were torn asunder. Claw marks and muddy footprints were everywhere. The center console had been plucked out and a good bit of upholstery shredded. Not only had he stomped on my favorite sun hat as he ran from front to back, but adding insult to injury, aromatic bear poop now decorated all seats and floorboards.

Mr. Bear hopefully learned a valuable life lesson (though I doubt it!) and a mere $5000 insurance claim restored my old car to like-new condition. The experience resonated, reminding me of something much more serious.

My bear was just being a bear, doing what bears do. A hungry opportunist, he bore me no personal ill will. Our demonic enemies however, hate us and live to derail our mission and take us down.

How often do we as Believers leave our lives, bodies or minds unlocked allowing wild and destructive things into what should be the Temple of the Holy Spirit? (1 Corinthians 6:10-19) Sometimes, we provide important footholds- or prop our doors open thoughtlessly, or unwittingly engaging in worldly activities. Other times, it may be lack of maturity or just good ol’ fashioned prideful intent offering a handy opportunity to the hungry wild things trolling your life.

When we forget our all important armored, security system ( Ephesians 6:10-18) we are leaving ourselves open to a wild, supernatural adversary who is as unpredictable and he is ferocious.  I learned the hard way- it is infinitely better to lock up- than clean up the aftermath!