Sierra loves to be outside and now that the weather is somewhat warmer, she always wants to be out there. She was playing on the slide in the backyard when she shouted out to me, "Mom! Lady bug!" I went over to check out her discovery and was disappointed to inform her that it was not a lady bug but an ant. Yes, as the weather warms our dear little ants reappear from where ever they hide during the winter. And so, the battle begins.
As a part of her proper training in dealing with ants I told Sierra that she should squish it. "No." she said matter-of-factly with maybe a little fear mixed in. So, I showed her how to do it. She looked at me and then squatted down to examine the damage a little closer. I could see the wheels turning.
Not too much later she calls out, "There's another lady bug."
"Sierra, they're ants. Squish it."
This time I decided to help her squish it. So, I took her little pudgy finger and squished it down on the ant. She looked at her finger and then squatted down again to check it out. Now, I hoped that she would understand the power that she possessed in just one finger to take care of those little nuisances. I hoped that through this experience it would become a game or a perhaps a personal goal to squish every ant she ever sees, thus helping in the fight against a hostile ant take over this year. So, I left her again to her slide.
Not too much longer I heard her shouting, "No! You are bad! You go 'way!" She was squatted down, eyeball to eyeball, with a little ant, trying to deal with it her way. Had I not provided the remedy for her just moments before? Squish that thing! Even with a reminder and some coaxing I couldn't get her to let go of her plan of attack.
I can't help but wonder how many times God has felt the same way with us. He has provided the way of restoration and salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Yet we disregard the power of that and continue to try to "be good" or earn our way to heaven. God has given us instruction and wisdom for dealing with many things, like conflict or how we treat our spouse. Yet we choose our own way of gossiping and complaining rather than addressing the conflict directly. Or, we try to make our spouse earn our respect or love rather than giving it as a gift. We do what makes sense to us, rather than follow the wisdom of a God who loves us and desires the best for us. This year I am working hard to step away from my knee-jerk reactions and old ways of doing things, and to follow God's way of responding and living instead. It might seem right to me to yell and shout at the "ants" in my life, but if God says "squish it", I'm gonna squish it.