Oct 10 2012

Lessons From Prairie Dogs

This morning I made my first visit to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. This is a park I’ve wanted to photograph for quite some time. The landscapes here are beautiful and there is also lots of wildlife to photograph. I spent a good bit of time today photographing prairie dogs. There is certainly no shortage of these “critters” in this particular park.

Watching prairie dogs is quite entertaining. They are very playful and at times comical.  Occasionally they throw their hands up in the air and look like they’re praising the Lord. I know some farmers see these creatures as pests but I like them a lot.

In addition to being entertaining, prairie dogs are also very social. They do not live alone but in families or clans. In parts of Theodore Roosevelt National Park you’ll find prairie dog towns with hundreds of prairie dogs living together. There are certainly benefits of living close to one another. If a prairie dog senses danger he/she will vocalize and signal an alarm to warn others.

As I watched the prairie dogs today I thought about how Christians need one another and how our survival also depends on staying close to others. Even though I’m out in “Western” country I would be the first to admit there is no such thing as Lone Ranger Christianity. We need one another. We need other believers close by for a lot of reasons. One such reason may be to warn others when danger is imminent. There are many “predators” in the spiritual life and we do not always see them coming. When we live in fellowship with other disciples of Christ we can watch out for one another. Like prairie dogs we may even need to signal an alarm at times.

Perhaps there is someone you need to warn now. Then again, it may be that you need to listen carefully for the warning signal from others. Like prairie dogs, we really do need each other!

–Chuck