There was once a mouse who lived in a laboratory.  His cage was more like a prison because although he had room to run around and get his food and water, after some time of living like this his housing became quite dull and confining.  As the mouse began to realize the limitations of his life he knew he needed a change.  He was tired of banging his head into the wall trying to climb up it.  Each day he felt his strength running out but his courage growing.  He began to explore every detail of his circumstances.

He looked for an escape from the prison house of his cage.  He noticed at the bottom of the cage a little door with a latch.  For some reason this door frightened him and he didn’t know why.  Each day he would get a little closer and braver and one day even carefully lifted the latch a little bit.  The smell that omitted was horrific even to a mouse’s nose.  Sulfur wafted up from whatever was beneath that door.  The mouse quickly dropped the latch and decided to stay as far away from that door as he could.  Escape through that exit was not an option.

The one door he had been aware of since being placed in the cage was the one at the top.  It was a round door and the reason it was so visible was because night and day light came through that door.  He had to lift his mouse head high up to see the light but something about this opening in the top of his cage made him less afraid than the door that was close and accessible on the floor of his cage.

The mouse began to explore all options of how to reach the door at the top of the cage that was out of reach.  He noticed that sometimes when he was asleep at night he would wake up in the morning to find a fresh days supply of food and water.  He knew that whatever was above was the one keeping him alive and also keeping his cage clean and free from bugs that might eat his food.  He knew what was above was his source of life and not what was beneath.

The longer the mouse lived in the cage the more he became obsessed with reaching the opening at the top of the cage.  It seemed lately the brimstone and sulfur trap door had some pressure on it forcing the door open as he would awake sometimes to the now familiar smell of sulfur.  Something beneath that cage wanted our mouse friend to just give up and go the easy route through that trap door.  It is obvious to the reader that this door was indeed a “trap”.

This mouse has been specifically chosen for this experiment because he had been observed for a long time.  He was chosen because of his natural inquisitiveness, endless energy and refusing to be discouraged when other mice had given up the fight.  The longer he lived in the small cage the more his mouse brain determined he had to somehow reach a way to the top of the cage to draw closer to the light.

Days passed and all attempts at climbing the slick walls of the cage left him weak and trembling on the floor.  However, he would lay on his back and stare at the opening and try to imagine what was up there beyond the light.  He thought he even saw something twinkle once but perhaps he had been imprisoned for so long his imagination was working overtime.

Finally, in the course of time his efforts to climb to the top of the cage weakened the mouse and he began to become more listless, eating less and barely running around the cage anymore.  He was spending more time just lying on his back looking up at the opening in the cage.  He had enough time to think and began to cling to memories of his past when he lived with his brothers and sisters.  He wished now he hadn’t been so selfish with them, even fighting over food.  Once he had even gotten into a fight with his brother over a piece of cheese.  He didn’t know he had such evil in him as he almost killed his brother and left his brother mouse badly scratched so he could have his cheese.  He truly regretted not being kinder to his family.

The one thing that kept his heart pumping and mouse body alive was hope.  He felt there was something good above and a long time ago he had chosen that which was above rather than what he knew waited for him beneath.

Then one day, after months of this existence, he decided he would stay awake at night just to get a glimpse of whatever was bringing him food.  He was so weak in body that it was a very tough mouse thing to do – to stay awake.  But with the remaining force of will he kept his eyes open and alert for any movement near the cage.  Finally, his determination was rewarded and he heard soft footsteps coming towards the cage.  By now all fear was gone for our little mouse.  He welcomed the stranger as the man gently reached his hand in the cage.  Only this time it was different for there was no food in his hand.  He gently placed the mouse in the palm of his hand, lifting him up through the opening and said, “There, there, little mouse.  Everything is going to be okay now.  I’m taking you to a place I have prepared for you where you will be free to run to your heart’s desire.  I have watched many other mice, but they didn’t make the choices you have made.  Many of the mice couldn’t wait to escape, and eagerly opened the latch at the bottom of their cage and were sucked down to the flames and destruction awaiting them.  But you were a different mouse as you avoided that door no matter what the cost.  You wanted your freedom as much as the other mice in this experiment, but over time you felt comforted and hopeful by the opening at the top of the cage.  If you had been able to climb the walls of the cage to get to that door you would have been like so many others who have tried to build gigantic structures reaching to heaven like the Tower of Babel or the Pyramids in Egypt.  Of  course, you are only a mouse but not even a sparrow falls to the ground that I don’t see it.”

Mr. Mouse was now no longer in his cage but safe in the hand of the One who had brought him out.  He looked down and noticed a wound on his Master’s hand as if a nail had been pounded into that hand.  The mouse looked up and asked the One “How did you get that wound?”  The Master answered “I was wounded in the house of my friends.  But, don’t be sad little mouse, because it is was the shedding of my blood that paid the price for everyone to escape the cage of their existence and the destination of hell.”

The little mouse wanted to linger there forever because this was truly heaven safe in the comfort of the One who had rescued him when he couldn’t save himself.  So forever he stayed with the One whose name was Jesus and loved Him more than any.

Moral of the story:  The choices one makes in life are important whether you are a human or a mouse.

“For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.” Psalm 86:13

 The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.”  Proverbs 15:24

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