Where did they come from? We still have no idea. All I know is that they kept me awake on the long drive down I5 to Santa Clarita.
We first discovered the ants when we stopped for gas in Pleasanton on the way to the Homeschool Convention in Ontario. I didn’t notice anything when I got out of the car, but when I went to get back in, I discovered that the bottom of the door frame and the bottom of my seat were covered with ants. Mixed in with the ants were small white things that looked like grains of rice only smaller. I don’t know what we were thinking, but after brushing as many ants out of the car as possible we got back in the car and back onto the freeway.
I soon discovered that there was a consequence to my poor decision to not eliminate the ants when I had the chance. Did you know that there is no place to buy ant spray between the Altamont pass and Santa Clarita? What this meant was that I spent the remainder of the trip watching for anything that moved and doing my best to crush it without disturbing my wife’s driving. There weren’t huge numbers of ants, but they seemed to appear out of nowhere. By the time we reached the Grapevine I thought that I had gotten most of them, but our uncertainty motivated us to seek a more complete solution.
We stopped at a grocery store in Santa Clarita and picked up a can of ant spray along with our dinner for the evening. As I was unpacking the car, I discovered a swarm of ants in the back seat of the car. There was no trail of ants coming or going from this spot, so I have no idea how they got there. I was just grateful that they hadn’t gotten into our bag of clothes. Once the car was all unloaded, I sprayed it down very thoroughly, but not completely as the back of the car was filled with our inventory for the homeschool convention. One more spray after unloading at the convention seems to have done the trick as we’ve seen no more ants. We looked when we got home to see if we could see where they had come from and didn’t find a source anywhere. Where they came from is still a mystery.
I’m sure there will be many illustrations that come from this and I apologize if what you’ve read so far has you scratching at every little itch.
Sin is like our experience with the ants. We all too often discover an attitude or behavior that is affecting our relationship with God and others that we don’t seem to find a source for. We try to brush it off, but we never get totally rid of the cause. What we’re experiencing will capture our attention for as long as we don’t take radical measures to remove the cause. This was easy with the ants. It is not so easy with sin. Different sins have different causes and the different causes often require different methods of extermination. What the ants taught me is the wisdom of getting serious about dealing with the cause, rather than assuming it isn’t a big deal and brushing it off. Jesus teaching in Matthew 5:27-30 makes much more sense after the invasion of the ants.
If you have any ideas on where the ants could have come from, I would love to hear them.
For my grandchildren:
When you discover a cause for sin, get rid of it completely.