Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ants at Falls Top

Lindsey and I were taking a walk in the village of Falls Top, where we are attempting to learn the Carib language. It was a hot day and with our head full of incoherent words in a language we did not understand, we decided to walk through the jungle, down to the river to cool off. Walking in the jungle is not always the most comforting thing. When the weeds grow up to the point you cannot see your feet that is a little alarming to think what could be crawling or slithering down below.
We made it down to the banks of the river and began the process of emptying our minds. This was not a hard task seeing that this was the first day of Carib language learning therefore our mind was full of gibberish. We just let it all drain out of our mind and then stood there motionless and mentally exhausted.
Once we finally regained a functional state of mind, we began to look around at the general splendor of the jungle. The sights and sounds are quite breathtaking. Looking around our eyes came upon a perfectly single file line of ants. These ants were busy going from one side of the trail to the other in such a uniform manner that they had worn a rut in the dirt trail. No one was out of line, no one pushed or shoved, everyone just did as they were supposed to and kept on walking. As I watched the little boy in me wanted to come out and I wanted to either drop a stick or spit on the trail to see what they would do. But not wanting to upset the eco balance of the rain forest with my boyish longings I politely stepped over the ants and continued on to the banks of the river.
Sitting there with my feet in the river and little fish nibbling at my toes I noticed one single ant had gotten separated from his pack, tribe, or family and was now down at the waters edge. I was curious to see what was about to transpire. Sure as the world, this little ant walked right up to the water and began touching the water with his (or her) front legs. Just as soon as the legs touched the water the ant was swept off the bank and into the water. The ant quickly began to struggle, good for him ants float, bad for him, ants can't swim. Therefore he was above water but he was going further out into the river. I watched him with a sadistic desire to see if a fish would swim up and eat him but then the animal lover in me came out and I pulled out my bandana. I lowered the corner of it down into the water until the ant had successfully grabbed hold of it and I raised him up and placed him back on the safety of the bank. It was almost as if I could hear this little voice saying "Thank you so much you gigonormous creature!" But then before you could say "You're welcome," the ant turned around and stuck his two front feet into the water again and whoosh he was back on his whirlwind adventure to the great unknown of the river. This time I simply watched hoping a fish would eat him so I could tell people a cool story, but no such luck.
Later as I thought about my unfortunate little friend, God began to unravel a Spiritual truth for me. The Bible tells us that God has a plan for our life (Jer. 29:11) and that He even created and crafted us for that purpose. (Eph. 2:10) It is as if God told us to go from point A to point B and like those ants crossing the trail, they were doing what they were created to do. But just like the little wayward one, we all have gone astray. Isaiah 53:6 says, "All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way;..." Everyone of us has fallen short of God's plan for our lives, (Rom. 3:23) and the penalty for that waywardness and sin is death. (Rom. 6:23a) If that foolish little ant was stupid enough to leave the line of ants doing what they were supposed to do then he deserved to drown or to be eaten by a fish. No one forced that on him, he chose to walk that path and the consequences of that path is death. Just like us! We were foolish enough to walk away from the plan God had for us and the penalty of that disobedience is death! Satan did not make us do it, our DNA did not make us do it, God certainly did not make us do it, we and we alone are guilty and deserving of the punishment.
BUT! God so loved the world!!! (John 3:16) BUT the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our LORD!!! (Rom. 6:23b) BUT God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8) God looked down on a world that was full of sin and filthiness and He felt compassion! He stretched out His hand and pulled us out of certain death and placed us on the sure foundation of eternal Life! Praise God for His love!
Sadly, how often are we like this little ant, who, just as soon as he had received a second chance at life, ran right back into our wicked life? It is as if we receive this beautiful gift of Life from God, a gift which cost Him dearly! We receive this gift and then spit right in the face of God! We continue right on with the evil and wickedness that entangled us to begin with. That is truly heart breaking!
But unlike me who watched my little friend sail off into the sunset, God lovingly reaches down again and again and pulls us out of the sin that entraps us. Not that we need to be saved again, for Jesus only needed to die one time to cover all our sins, but God pulls us out of the mess we have made and sits us on solid ground and says, go and sin no more! To those who reject His bandana of love, death is their future. How sad to know that so many will push God's hand out of the way so as to get to Hell faster! I wish they had the sense of an ant to know that salvation is extended to all people!

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