Born To Win

I should have been an entomologist.

I am alternately fascinated and repelled by bugs. Fascinated by the flashy butterflies, dragonflies, and spiders, and repelled by the stinging wasps and hornets.

The thought of hoards of marauding ants is abhorrent to me, as it was to my mother. My mom, who never used bad words, reserved her one curse for ants who would show up in her kitchen. “D$%# ants!

I was working in the yard one day this week when I happened to come across this impressive praying mantis perched on my mailbox post.

She was wary of me, watching as I circled her trying to get a better look. Wary, but not intimidated.

Her head swiveled, following me as I kept my distance. I wanted the chance to observe, so I was careful not to spook her into leaving her post.

She has most likely already mated, maybe eating her partner in the process, and laid her eggs in a froth that will harden into a protective case. Winter is coming, and she doesn’t want to get caught by the first frost without laying at least one batch of eggs.

I tried to match her patience, watching her as she waited for suitable prey to come into her field of view. She won. After 15 minutes of stillness, I gave up and went into the house for a sandwich.

And to sneak another peek at the television.

Many people in my country were riveted to the news last week, hoping to hear the results of our contentious presidential election.

I became so anxious waiting for the outcome, I finally had to ration my news-watching to an update once each morning, afternoon, and evening. I must admit, however, some updates lasted longer than technically was absolutely necessary.

As I ate my sandwich, I exchanged text messages with my daughter-in-law. She sent me a link to a song performed by her favorite band, The Mammals. The title of the song was “Born to Win“, a cover of an old Woodie Guthrie song.

I listened to the song as tears flooded my eyes, and I realized this: no matter how the election turns out, I will be alright.

And so will you.

I will get up each morning and do my best to reflect God’s love to the world. Many times I will fail, but sometimes, I will succeed.

I will somehow develop the patience of a praying mantis.

My values, hopes, and dreams will not change as a result of an election.

What we do right now matters. When we deliver a meal to an ill friend, when we care for children with love, when we give our money or time to worthy charities, when we visit an elderly neighbor, when we write positive messages and send them out into the world, when we listen to a troubled colleague, when we try to make the world just a tiny bit better than it was yesterday, we are making a difference. We are helping to build God’s kingdom here on earth.

None of that is affected by who wins an election.

We are all given the opportunity to make others’ lives more bearable, more meaningful, more enjoyable.

We are all “Born to Win“.

 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. – John 14:27

You can find the places I link up here.

 

75 comments

  1. Laurie, we didn’t change who we are four years ago either, but outside forces tried to convince us that our society had become racist, greedy, ignorant, and dismissive of climate change. The media broad-brushed society with the characteristics they perceived (and were often displayed) in one man, and there were those who believed. As a result, the divide deepened. When we tune out the rhetoric and see each other as people who care deeply about the fulfillment of potential in our nation we can begin to heal. Your statement, “I will get up each morning and do my best to reflect God’s love in the world.” is a great place to begin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true, Suzanne. We need to relearn to see each other as people again, not just members of a certain political party. I have a lot of hope for the coming year!

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  2. We were all watching and waiting holding our breath. Today the sun shines and people need to be kind to one another, just as we are capable of, just as mother nature intended us, one big tribe on this planet called humans. Peace be with you.

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  3. Comforting words to live by. Sometimes hard, but I pray continually for my kids/family in future to get to enjoy the wonderful America that I have. There has been no better place to live, and I pray and trust that it will remain so. And on the praying mantis, they look like an out of this world creature, but somehow it is hard not to keep looking at one. I photographed one some years ago too, and they are so strange looking, but interesting to figure out why they look like they do. I spaced out my tv watching too, and missed when it was announced, but then saw it when got online later. 🙂 Happy Sunday

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    • I pray for the same things for my children, Peabea. I was trail running when the announcement was made, but found out the results when we got back to the car and turned our phones on. Hope you have a wonderful week.

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  4. I’m pleased the election is over and I hope to never live through another one like it. I knew I’d be ok regardless of the outcome but I am overjoyed with the result. I can breathe deeply again. And carry on.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been unable to function this week and hope there will be a smooth peaceful transition. If there is acceptance and no tantrums there will be. How are adults in a democracy supposed to act? I love PM’s
    I had a friend in MD who made videos, and movies of them, drew them, took many pics. She gave me a metal one when she came to lunch once. I love them so much. Smart, wary, survivors. Praying…. like me… praying for peace at last

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    • I am keeping my fingers crossed for a smooth transition too, Lee Anna. I do feel better than I did at this time last week. I, like you, am praying for peace.

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  6. As I think you know as I wrote about them recently, I HATE ants. Once I’ve seen them I feel like they’re everywhere. I’ve had small ones at my place but had the pest control people out so hoping they disappear for a while.

    I’m not a big fan of insects (or wildlife) full stop. Praying Mantis or grasshoppers don’t scare me or creep me out but I don’t tend to appreciate them I realise.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes!!! It is so satisfying to kill a whole bunch of ants. An easy way is to mix equal parts honey and borax, then put a big drop on a piece of wax paper. Ants will congregate there. Don’t kill them. Let them go back to their nest. They will give the poison to their nest-mates and the whole colony will die.

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  7. “My values, hopes, and dreams will not change as a result of an election.” Amen! Our hope is in God alone. He is always with us and we need to keep showing His love no matter what circumstances are around us. Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #InspireMeMonday.

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  8. The patience of a praying mantis. That had me in stitches. They are fun bugs to watch. One night I was watering my flower garden and a praying mantis, who I had not seen, flew up and landed on a nearby plant. Scared me back a few steps. They are quite magnificent to watch fly. And when they sit and watch you, they tuck their wings back to nothing and you can’t even see them anymore.

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  9. Oh, I can relate with the anxiety about the election. Eventually I could only tolerate about 5 minutes of news at a time. It appears that it is not over yet. I am praying for peace and for revival in the Church. Your words are wise. How ever this election turns out, “I will get up each morning and do my best to reflect God’s love to the world.” That is my goal also.

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  10. Hi Laurie – beautifully said and I couldn’t agree more. There are large things in life that we have very little control over (our govt being one of them) but we have the privilege of reflecting Jesus love to the world and living in a way that shines love, positivity, kindness and acceptance out to other. If everyone concentrated on doing that, the world would be a much lovelier place – and it starts with us x

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  11. That’s a great prayer for our nation too–encouraging all us to know that God will provide the victory no matter who won the election. Because it’s not so much about political policies as it is about loving our neighbor and making God known! And thanks for the fascinating details about a praying mantis’ life. I had no idea she ate her mate! Wow!

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  12. Thank you for your insight Laurie and your song. As you know, I cannot vote in any election as I’m not a citizen. Never has the result of an election been so important to me as this one and I was overjoyed to hear the result and watched the acceptance speeches of Harris and Biden and afterglow which made me feel like I was part of the crowd and gave me an immediate sense of calm and I breathed a sigh of relief. As I am catching up in Reader tonight, a fellow blogger posted this photo and I.D. info which you might find interesting as a bug (end even spider) lover: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/60744094/posts/3007726000

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  13. Laurie, I love this post so very much! God is with us! PS~I love insects too~for the most part~EXCEPT this scorpion-like spider that fell on my shoulder in the RV last weekend ~and I couldn’t find him ☹️🙃

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  14. When my oldest son was younger, he wanted to be an entomologist. In second grade, he dressed up as a praying mantis in the costume a friend and I made for him. Now he’s a chef. LOL. Anyway, I love your post. I love knowing no matter what happens, God is in control and we are winning when we reflect his love and light on a daily basis. ❤

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    • What a transition – a budding entomologist to a chef! 🙂 Thank you for your comment. Our calling is to reflect God’s love no matter who wins the election for president.

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  15. Bugs are fascinating, aren’t they? We found a praying mantis sac (or whatever you call them) when I was a kid and we brought it inside the house. A few days later…it started sprouting minuscule babies! A few years ago, I learned that praying mantises can eat hummingbirds…I relocate any I find around my house now.

    But back to waiting. It’s not fun, but we know who’s in control, so whatever the outcome, whether we like it or not, it’s not our monkey, not our circus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love to watch bugs. Wow! I didn’t know a praying mantis could eat a hummingbird!

      Waiting is usually not fun, but you are so right – not our monkey, not our circus! 🙂

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  16. I get really frustrated by ants in my territory, too. Praying mantises can be fun to watch. I’ve had to ration my news input for some time. I don’t want to be head-in-the-sand unaware, but I can’t take the barrage. I agree, whoever is in charge, my task is the same–to do whatever God has for me each day.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Laurie, loved the praying mantis thoughts, I recently encountered one after a long while. Odd creatures. But I also loved your thoughts on the election, That verse in John 14:27 is one of my favorites! Our peace is not in the election or the outcome, we will be alright. Thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Laurie,
    I’ve been self-reminding that God used good kings and evil kings in the OT and nothing thwarted His sovereign will. But, I still needed your wonderful reminder here today. Yes, we were born to win and we can decide to be winners in our own sphere of influence no matter the outcome of a political election. Maybe the mantis is patient because she’s a “praying mantis”??
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    Liked by 1 person

  19. It was so easy to get caught up in the US elections and in an election for a State Government here in India. What struck me about both is the level to which people are stooping to win! As you said, for our own sanity we need to know that life goes on and we must do the best we can!

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  20. It was so easy to get caught up in the US elections and in an election for a State Government here in India. What struck me about both is the level to which people are stooping to win! As you said, for our own sanity we need to know that life goes on and we must do the best we can!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Not just US but all over people were eagerly waiting and hoping..but yes you are right “when we try to make the world just a tiny bit better than it was yesterday, we are making a difference. We are helping to build God’s kingdom here on earth.” That was a lovely post.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Thank you for underscoring the truth that the media’s portrayal of Americans as either blue or red, progressive or regressive, helpful or hateful, is far too simplistic and helps not at all. We have a chance, after four years, to recognize our common bonds again. Let’s hope and pray that enough of us do just that.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. What a great song! At first glance, your mantis looked like a car hood ornament, and an awesome one, at that!!

    Yes, life will go on as long as God allows and we will be OK.

    Thanks for sharing your link at ‘My Corner of the World’ this week!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. As you know from Instagram/twitter…we here in Australia all breathed out too. I don’t think I realised just how much the outcome would mean to me (us). Now to get “him” to leave. Ha!

    Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week the optional prompt is 46/51 Exams. 16.11.2020 Hope to see you then! Denyse.

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