Termites

I had the opportunity to visit my brother this summer while he was in Brazil. We were right on the Amazon, and one of my favorite parts of the trip were the walks on the jungle trails.

One afternoon a group of us walked through the jungle to a place where the water came up into the trees and we could swing with a vine from the bank into the water. Along the way were broad leaves with extra veins, palm fronds to be hacked down by machete, muddy rivulets spanned by slippery branches and roots, and termites.

There were termite homes in trees everywhere, and from time a trail of them would cross our path.

“Termites! Watch out for termites!” from time to time the cry would be passed down. When we got to the indicated spot, we would dash along until out of the infested area, giving the termites no chance to bite.

The bites are not dangerous, just a discomfort, but they certainly inspired action. Just a little bug could do a lot of chasing without even trying. That’s a long cry from the people who, despite warning signs, stop their cars and approach bison for pictures.

Humans are strange that way. Discomfort or inconvenience are often more heeded as motivators than danger or what is right. That must be why God gives us consciences, to be able to connect the two and change what we do when it’s important, too.

May the LORD continue to mold our values to be right, so when inconvenience or discomfort comes, we know it to be just a bug.

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