Monday, March 17, 2008

Lessons From the wasps

As we sat in the great room of the beautiful mountain cabin we noticed a wasp gliding on the window trying to find warmth. The change of weather has really thrown things out of kilter here in the South. One day you are having 70 degree weather and the next a storm front hits, bringing the temperatures back down to normal for this time of year. It's throwing everything into a tizzy, including the wasps. The warmth was just enough to stir them out of their nests, the cold that followed numbed them sending them into confusion, and immobilization. One after another found it's way into the cabin, landing on the furniture doors and windows, moving slowly about. Drawn to the windows and doors you knew they could see where they were supposed to be, yet couldn't find the release from their captivity. Being highly allergic to wasps, the only solution my husband had was to kill them. Since the cold had numbed them they didn't fly too quickly. It was easy to take them out with one swat of a shoe.

I couldn't help but see the lessons to be gained from the wasp. It applies so much to our lives today in this busy world that we live in. We are awakened to the warmth of life, inviting us to live in relationship with God, with others. But once we are out of the nests the "cold", the world's distractions, hit us numbing us and sending us into confusion and immobilization. Do you find yourself at the end of the weekend or even the end of the day feeling empty, sometimes? Maybe it's just me. But here in this household we easily find the things of the world that numb you from moving into what really brings life. 

Isn't it easier to turn on a movie and sit in a room together instead of engage in meaningful conversation. When you've had a long week, don't you just want to curl up in your pj's on the couch and go numb all weekend? Sometimes we need those times of disengaging, but how much is too much? Deep down inside, does something seem to be missing? It's so easy for me to find myself escaping in the computer world. It's easier to find relationships online than it is to find them in my own neighborhood. Some of that is reality. But how much of it is choice? How many Friday nights am I inviting someone into my home to play games, or have a cup of coffee?

Why is it that life seems to zap us like the cold does the wasps? Why does life seem to leave less than what we desire? If God said He came to give us life to the full, then why does it often feel so empty? Why do our "worlds" seem to manage us instead of us "managing" our worlds? How well am I ruling and reigning over my domain? It is what God told Adam and Eve to do before sin entered the world. Once sin entered, it seems everything went into a crazy, chaotic battle. Doesn't life feel that way sometimes? Do you just feel like you have to battle to move one step forward into relationship and life? Do you find yourself numb? 

The wasps were looking for warmth. That's why they came inside. But it wasn't where they belonged. It wasn't where they were designed to be. So what about us? Are we living like we were destined to live? We were made in the image of relationship for relationship, not just with God but with each other. What's happened to us? These are the questions I am asking myself, these days.

In this "technology" world, doesn't it seem that people are in their homes alone more than living in relationship with others? Being a child of the 50's before all the technology was filling homes we spent time together with other families enjoying relationship. Hours of playing with friends while our parents played cards fill my memory. I can remember "solitare wars" in my house growing up. After all we only had 3 channels on the TV and it went off at midnight, no VCR's, no DVD's, no DVR's or Tivo, no computers, ipods, nintendo's or X-box. We had no TV's in the cars. We actually had to make up games as we rode along on the long drive for vacation. The stores were all closed on Sunday. Children were outside playing until the sun went down. We spent hours using our imaginations. 

The women of 100 + years ago found themselves in quilting bees, barn raisings and community living. What's happened to us in our day?

Now a days it is hard for my children to even find other children to play with until the sun goes down. The technology of X-box and Nintendo vie for their attention, not to mention computer games, myspace, Facebook. There are so many avenues to keep them enclosed in the confines of our house. Even when the kids get together with other kids all they want to do is play computer games challenging each other. What's happened to us living in relationships with others? What happened to using imaginations?

We are created in the image of relationship, yet many of us live without that deep relationship with others that we long for. We have to do something with our time. It's easy to numb out. The more numb we become, the harder it is to escape it, like the wasps. The more we are numbed the more numbing we need. The wasps needed the lure of the light and warmth coming from the window. It was the closest thing they could get to being where they were supposed to be. But it wasn't what they were created for.

As I watched the wasps this weekend I realized. I don't want to live like that any longer. I want to live and experience all that my Papa has invited me to experience. I don't want to be distracted by the things of this world, the thorns and thistles of life that come to choke out the good seed. I want to rule my domain instead of it ruling me. I want relationships with my husband and kids to be rich. I want to live in relationship with others in my community. I want to live, not in the cold numbness but in the warmth of life.

How about you? How numb are you? What is the cry of your heart?

Jesus said, "The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I came that they might have life, and have it to the full."

May we all find that life.



©copyrighted 2008 by Julie L. Todd


Lelia Chealey said... Reply to comment

this was absolutely beautifully written. I would've never thought of looking at the wasp like that. So often I find myself in a place that I just don't belong! Uggghhh! I'll think of the wasp next time!
Great post my friend!

Gretchen said... Reply to comment

I'm feeling a bit restless and unfocused right now, Julie, and I'm sure it's because I'm living how you describe that little wasp--fighting to do the right thing, but not quite making it out of that window. As much as i love blogging and meeting wonderful people who also blog, I know that one of the things i need to do is turn away from the computer and toward God. Thanks for the lovely post and timely reminder. God DOES use these blogs; we just need to know when to stop. :)

Gretchen said... Reply to comment

BTW, I added you to my list of blogs that I frequent. Hope you don't mind. :)