The Things That Bug Us

Image by Ralf Kunze from Pixabay

Do you ever think that you could have designed this planet a bit better than God did?

Don’t get me wrong. I love the beauty of God’s Creation: the animals, birds, trees, flowers, oceans, mountains, and starry night sky.

But I have just one quibble….

Bugs.

I think God made far too many of them.

Scientists estimate that there are 10 quintillion bugs on Earth, which works out to well over a billion insects per person.

I find this excessive. All most of them do is bite, sting, or frighten people.

In an ideal world of my creation, there would only be a few select insects. Cute ones like ladybugs and beautiful ones like butterflies would make the cut, but I can do without the rest.

Plus, I’d make a lot more flowers. Sound good?

There’s only one problem with the utopia I’ve designed: what would pollinate the flowers?

Insects are responsible for the vast majority of pollination. In my version of this world, I would have eliminated the very things that make possible productivity in flowering plants.

I think we take the same attitude when it comes to things in our lives that we find unpleasant or demanding.

We want nothing to do with the things that “bug” us.

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You Were Meant to Soar

Image of European swift by Kev from Pixabay

What is the ultimate flying machine?

The Concorde? A high-tech fighter jet?

I’d suggest to you that the holder of this title belongs to the common swift.

The swift holds the record for the fastest confirmed level flight of any bird: 111.5 km/h (69.3 mph). (Birds like falcons can fly faster, but only when diving down through the air to catch prey.)

Swifts also spend most of their lives on the wing, landing only to nest. Some individuals can spend up to ten months in continuous flight. In a single year a common swift can cover at least 200,000 km. No other bird spends as much of its life in the sky.

They are truly astonishing creatures.

A funny thing about swifts, though: they don’t do very well on the ground.

Their small, weak legs, which are placed far back on their bodies, are really only good for clinging to vertical surfaces like cliffs. They never voluntarily settle on the ground, where they’d be vulnerable to predation. Although swifts are capable of taking flight from level ground, they prefer to “fall” into the air from a high point.

Simply put, swifts were meant to soar.

And so were you.

But oftentimes there are things inhibiting our flight…

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Shift Your Perspective

Mallard duck. Image by Ralphs_Fotos from Pixabay

Among the most spectacular aspects of nature for me are its colours.

I’m continually wowed by the vivid colours found in nature, such as the brilliant red plumage of the Northern cardinal.

The cardinal’s red feathers, which come courtesy of pigments, look the same when viewed from any angle. But there’s another source of colour in nature that is even more mesmerizing:

Iridescence.

With iridescence, the hue of something changes when seen from different angles. You’ve probably experienced this shimmery optical phenomenon yourself when looking at certain insects, butterflies, birds, or even soap bubbles.

A good example of iridescence is the head of the mallard, a common duck found in the northern hemisphere. Its head appears to be a bright emerald green at first, but if you shift your angle of observation, it can appear green-gold, blue, or indigo.

It all depends on your perspective.

Maybe there’s a little lesson here for us.

If we shift our perspective about our own situations, we can see beauty that we didn’t know was there.

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Bring Out The Big Guns

The Tsar Cannon, the Kremlin, Moscow.
Image by Tatyana Kazakova from Pixabay

Have you ever had a day when you simply needed chocolate?

Maybe you faced some problems, and needed a pick-me-up. Or you were dealing with a heartbreak and needed a balm for your ragged emotions.

And you knew that milk chocolate just wouldn’t cut it, let alone white chocolate.

It required the stronger stuff. You needed to bring out the big guns to help you cope with your challenges:

Dark chocolate.

Only the intense flavour and strength of chocolate with over 80% cocoa solids would do the trick. Nothing else would suffice.

Sometimes we reach a similar point in our spiritual lives, too.

The Christian life isn’t all a bed of roses. Oftentimes we face desperate circumstances, and we may find ourselves in a heap on the floor, crying our eyes out.

Maybe we’ve received a scary diagnosis from the doctor. We might have been let go from our job. Or our family might be in crisis: our marriage is in tatters or our children have gone astray.

We need help that is grounded in the gritty reality of what we’re facing. Sunny bromides like “Don’t worry, be happy” just won’t cut it.

We need to bring out the big guns.

We need the Psalms.

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Making Butter Yourself

Photo by rodeopix on Pixabay

Some things are better when they don’t come too easily, aren’t they?

Like making butter yourself. When I was a child, I had the chance to do just that.

On a visit to my grandparents’ farm, my grandmother handed me a closed jar with rich cream inside it from their dairy cows. She instructed me to shake the jar vigorously.

I did so, but didn’t see much happening. I wanted to give up, but Grandma told me to keep agitating the jar. I obeyed, and soon started to see clumps forming inside the jar.

Grandma knew it wasn’t ready yet, however, and instructed me to keep going. My little arms were getting tired, but eventually Grandma told me I could stop. The cream had finally transformed into the right consistency.

I had made butter! (Well, technically, I suppose most of the credit should go to the cows.)

It was hard work making that fresh butter, but the taste of it was heavenly on fresh bread. It was vastly superior to the blocks of chilled butter you buy in the supermarket. Not only did it taste wonderful, I appreciated the butter more because I’d put in the work myself to make it.

Sometimes God lets us go through the effort of doing things for ourselves, doesn’t He?

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