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.