Friday, March 12, 2010

Stink Bug Theology

Matthew 6:34: "Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. (The Message)

In this neck of the woods we have a common visitor known as the stink bug. These are nasty little creatures about the size of your fingernail, brownish, and the shape of a shield. These particularly ugly critters are loud when they buzz around – we’re talking helicopter dive-bombing you loud! And if you should catch one and smoosh it, they emit an enormously foul stench – hence, the name “stink” bug. While I’m no theologian or scholar, I am sure these creepy crawlers showed up on the scene three seconds after Eve bit that apple – a direct creation/result of the Fall (right up there with war, pestilence, wrinkles and cellulite)!

So the other day I was getting ready for work, puttering around in my semi-comatose early morning state, not yet having had my three cups of tea to get me going. I grabbed my blow dryer, went to plug it in and… what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a creepy crawly disgusting stink bug parked directly over the outlet. He was totally blocking the path of my dryer plug. This bad boy was huge - the size of Milwaukee! And let me tell you, nothing wakes you up as quickly as stumbling upon the stealth attack of a stink bug on your outlet first thing in the morning! I ran screaming for the nearest tissue, plucked said evil visitor from my outlet, and sent him onto glory with a dramatic FLUSH! (My apologies to all animal rights friends out there). Needless to say, I still get the “willies” when I think of the incident.

I did a bit of research and found that stink bugs don’t generally bite, but they can cause damage to leaves, flowers, fruit and crops. They are attracted to light/warmth, will work their way into a home (under siding, into soffits, under roof shingles, etc.), and you can wind up with an infestation problem.

How does this relate to anything? Well, I got to thinking… stink bugs are a lot like those commonplace little problems and worries we have so often in life. They silently work their way into our thoughts throughout the day and night, destroying our peace. Have you ever had worries come flooding into your mind when you’re trying to pray? Ever have angst keep you up at night? Just like that stink bug on my outlet, worries can block us from connecting to our Power Source. We get so focused on them (and unfocused on God) that pretty soon those anxieties have eaten away at us, and we’re left with a ruined, fruitless day. Like an infestation, worry piles upon worry, anxiety upon anxiety and as Joyce Meyer calls it, we’re left with “stinkin’ thinking”! Now while I don’t recommend that you run screaming for your nearest tissue, I would suggest running to your Bible, and finding comfort and peace in the verses of His Word. Take all those foul troubles in prayer to the Lord – leave them all with Him.

Yeah, the junk of daily life often stinks.. but you don’t have to deal with it alone. Just hold your nose with one hand, grab those troubles with the other, and leave them with God – let Him be your “Spiritual Exterminator”!

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