My two-year-old, Josiah, has a love-hate relationship with bugs and other creepy crawlies. On one hand, he is fascinated by what they look like, what they do, and how they move. He can watch them from a distance or read about them with his big brother all day.
On the other hand, if even a fly gets too close to him, he will scream. If a bug actually lands on him or crawls across his shoe – watch out! He will freak out, flail, scream, and cry until that bug is nowhere to be seen.
This summer proved to be a trying time for Josiah, as ants, both sugar and carpenter, were finding ways to infiltrate our house, along with the usual summertime don’t-leave-the-door-open pests of flies and mosquitoes.
The ants were the worst, though. The sugar ants love our kitchen, of course, and our dark granite-looking countertops are not helpful. Do you know how hard it is to see a black ant on a black, speckled surface? The ants must know, and they take full advantage of it. Keeping food cleaned up and putting out ant traps helped keep them at bay, though.
The carpenter ants kept popping up in the bathroom or living room, scurrying across the floors or up the wall. These became Josiah’s nemeses. He was on the constant look out for them and would yell for me to come kill them when he saw them.
Then one day, he was sitting on the floor near me and told me, not really panicky or whiney but with just a hint of distress,
“Mommy, bug in my mouth.” Then he spit.
Looking over I realized that he did, in fact, have bits of an ant in his mouth. There was only one way that would have happened.
“Did you put it in your mouth,” I asked.
His simple reply was, “Yeah.”
“Don’t do that.”
I chuckled at his silliness. He hates bugs, but he put one in his mouth, only to complain that a bug was in his mouth. I don’t know why he even touched it, let alone tried to eat it. I guess he was curious?!?
But I guess that ant is kind of like sin. We don’t particularly like sin to touch us, but it can be fascinating enough to spark our curiosity. Then, if you allow yourself to follow that spark, before you know it, you’re not only fascinated, you’re curious enough to touch it, taste it. And then…well, it’s not so great. We don’t really love the consequences that it brings, and every sin brings consequences.
So we go to God, if we’re smart. We tell him about it, the sooner, the better.
He says, “Did you do this?”
Hopefully, we’ll answer honestly, “Yeah.” (And add, “I was wrong. I’m sorry. I repent.”)
“Don’t do that.” (And He’ll add, “I forgive you, and I love you.”)
“Okay.” (And, “Thank you. I don’t deserve it, but You are merciful and gracious. I love you, too.”)
And hopefully we’ll have learned, like Josiah did, that it’s not a good idea, and we won’t do it again.
“For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:12
“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15