As I veered off the concrete path onto the dirt, I heard alarming screeches. Stay away! Get back! Or were those ear-piercing shrieks from some creature self-directed? Run! Hide! Danger!
Likely, the sound signaled both. I mounted the small hill and came upon a colony of terrified prairie dogs. Dodging each other, they dove into their holes and then about-faced to peer out the opening as I -- Giant Me -- approached.
Evidently prairie dogs derive their name from their screechy barking to sound an alarm.
I often walk open-eared, without earphones or even my phone. With no sound stuck in my ears, my mind roams where it will, guiding me into new discoveries. As I continued my walk beyond their barking borders, their screams echoed in my mind. Such a drastic -- and also instinctive response to the foreigner in their midst. Alert! One of nature's built-in security systems.
I mused over their dual-alarm system that protected their homestead. Instead of "fight or flight," they employ "fight and flight."
On the one hand, they fight -- screaming at danger to stay out. Standing tall, chests poked out and tiny front paws posed in defense. No one would mess with them or theirs!
On the other hand, they choose flight -- yelling at each other to take cover. No ifs, ands or buts about it. Get your babies and yourself out of sight. The Bigguns are on their way and we stand no chance whatsoever!
There is strength in both commands for all of us who are threatened in life. In both the stance of power and in the posture of protection.
Fight: Back up, Danger. You are not allowed here! You are trespassing on peace. Leave. In the face of cancer, addiction, narrow-minded bigotry and ... evil, we fight.
"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
Flight: Run for cover. Hightail it out of here! Get to higher ground. When threatened by natural disasters, school-shooters, negativity and ... evil, we fly.
"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe" (Proverbs 18:10)
There's a time and a season -- sometimes the same -- for both. The best security systems keep the invaders out of our safe spaces while warning us to flee in the face of danger.
Suggested resource: Hello, Beauty Full by Elisa Morgan