We’ve battled ants for at least a month. They arrived when the first rains hit, dashing about on the kitchen counter. They aren’t horribly invasive and seem to mind their own business. So I’ve patiently tried several remedies to kill them off—cornmeal, Borax, toothpaste, spearmint, bug spray, etc. I’ve even ignored them. But instead of disappearing, they migrate to a different location within the house, yet never giving up the favored kitchen area.
Two days ago I asked my husband to find something that works. He complied by purchasing ant bait which, as I type, sits on the counter above the dishwasher.
Last week the dog threw up. This is not highly unusual, but then he threw up again . . . and again. Whatever ailed him worsened. As with the ants, I tried remedy upon remedy, including a trip to the vet.
This morning, as I awoke, my nose detected something was amiss. I won’t go into details; however the title of this post is a clue. Since my dog doesn’t know how to hit the toilet, I went to the kitchen after a bucket and scrub brush. There, scurrying about as if they owned the place, were the ants, oblivious to the cute ant house and the poison within. The fact that my husband is out of town only added to my frustration. Like Sweet Brown in the viral youtube video, I wanted to declare, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
If I compare my predicaments to those suffering from the destruction created by recent tornadoes—homes destroyed, lives turned upside down—they are minor annoyances. Slight interruptions in life. A break, albeit unwelcome, in the normal flow of things.
Yet this is real life. My day does not always proceed the way I’ve planned it. My list is not always accomplished. I need to be flexible and allow for modifications as I progress. In the midst of a well-thought-out day, cars break down, children melt down, rains pour down.
It’s this reality that reminds me my life is not my own, it’s God’s. It’s not my time, it’s God’s. It’s this reality that reminds me I am not in control, God is. These minor irritants, like sand in my shoe, are what the Lord uses to refine me into a more loving, patient, kind-hearted person. When I succumb to the fact that a normal day is one with interruptions and left turns, when I begin my day with the prayer, “Today is Yours, Lord, I release it to You,” these inconveniences aren’t inconvenient at all. My response is loving and gentle. The task at hand appears more like a hiccup than a nuisance.
I am still a work in progress, especially in this area (can you say control freak); but, today, I am thankful for small hassles because they cause me to rely on God as He accomplishes His work in and through me.