BE: Six-legged Analogies

Featured Image Starring: The Ants of the UAP Prayer Garden and my lunch (including the ant-covered pea in the foreground)

19 Febrero 2017

My Mama told me once that we are “human beings, not human doings.”

That in and of itself is indeed something to chew on as you go throughout your day, but I’d like to expand on it a bit with some tidbits I’ve discovered.

Today I decided to lunch in the prayer garden, in the shade of some sort of giant pine (please excuse my negligence in the world of biology), and as I settled myself on the pavement next to the wet grass, my attention was drawn to all the activity going on below me, whether in the grass or on the pavement.

Ants scurried around, their antennae dancing back and forth in search of some delectable treat to bring home. All varieties, from the size of my big-toe nail (this may not seem all that big, but for an ant that’s pretty giant!) to the size of a sesame seed (and then the microscopic size I couldn’t see, for obvious reasons). A potato bug (or pill bug/roly-poly, or, apparently an Armadillidiidae vulgare [See? I’m working on my negligence.]) tumbled past between the droplets of shade-preserved dew, causing the fingers of grass to wave him/her on in his/her haste.

As I ate and talked with God, I watched the ants swarm around, constantly on the move; always on the go over all kinds of obstacles (including my jolly self of course). Then, with Someone’s urging, I realized something truly ironic. We are supposed to be completely, and completely not like ants. At the same time! They represent our best and worst selves in the same moment.

If I was to refer to them as human I would say they are “human doings,” constantly on the lookout for the next awesome, shiny prize to cart back home and show off. Yet do those things last? No… and they only keep us from staying home, where we’re actually needed.

At the same time, we are to be constantly searching and looking for God. Of course, He’s not very hard to find (hello, world ) and though the whole constant looking for Him can be considered “doing” one can’t stay with Him if they’re constantly doing that “doing”. He did name us human BEings, after all, and even more than that, He’s called us Home. My conclusion has been that we’re called to ABIDE in Him! All we have to do is hold on, which brings me right back to the ants…

I caught a pair of them working together to carry a sadly-deceased Armadillidiidae vulgare right up my leg! I wasn’t about to have the poor thing deposited on my lap, so I tried to get them to hop onto my pen (I was writing at this point instead of eating) so I could safely deposit them back in the grass. They weren’t having it… and in my attempts, ended up falling off! I immediately found them relocated in the grass—STILL holding onto that dead insect 3x their size! That’s what I call perseverance. Blessedly for us, God only asks us to abide, even in the most difficult of circumstances.

Again, the ants were carting away their wonderful treasure, holding onto it for dear life. Coming back to humans, this can be either good or bad, depending on what your “treasure” happens to be. We can only hold onto one thing at a time: are we choosing eternal or terminable prizes? Not only this, but when we are so focused on one, terminal thing (see the featured image) we completely miss out on the actual good stuff (do you see something even better that those ants are missing out on?). Then come to think of it, surely we really are missing the good stuff. After all, didn’t a giant rhinoceros beetle rumble RIGHT by our glamorous pea and not even give it a second glance? It makes you wonder what kind of goods that bug has, that he/she passes right by our glamorous pea as if it’s worthless. Even crazier? Something to last us eternity is only a climb away (again, featured photo reference). Will we be so focused on what’s right in front of us, what we’re “doing,” that we completely miss what we can find if we just pause to look around?

I’d like to take two steps back, to where I was talking about abiding. He is the vine, we are the branches, right? What are we “doing?” We are “doing” abiding. We are holding onto Him and letting His nutrients work through us to produce Fruit. What is Fruit? That is a topic for another day, but He does give a very straightforward answer: The Fruits of the Spirit. And if you payed any attention in Sabbath School class as kid, I’ll bet you still remember the song that goes along with those. Alas, back to abiding—abiding, though it is our “doing” is simply BEing. Being in Christ. Being of Christ. Being for Christ. That doesn’t make it easy. Is it easy for an ant  to hold onto something 3x its size as it falls an entire foot-length to the ground? I wouldn’t think so. But not easy is possible, especially with God.

My challenge to you today (and I do mean today) is to get outside and BE in the sense of “doing” abiding. BE with God. BE with nature. BE in tune. Because, as my Mama says, you are a “human being, not a human doing.”

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