I used to fret a lot about things that are out of my control. Now I don’t fret so much about those things but have migrated on to a new list of concerns, a list which is constantly changing. It’s funny how that happens. Just when you think you have a few pieces of the puzzle of life put together you begin looking for more answers to things such as why God made the moon and mosquitoes. I reckon He answered the one about the moon back in Genesis, but the mosquitoes are still a mystery to me.
The lump on the back of my neck is beginning to subside and is no longer itching. It is my “war wound”, inflicted on me the other night at dusk while sitting outside on our mosquito plantation. Those blood-sucking infidels are quite an oddity. They seem to like some people and not so much others. I suppose it must be the taste of the blood or the smell of the skin that attracts them. Whatever it is, they seem to like the scent that my pores are secreting. One sure got a taste of it that night when, unbeknownst to me, it roosted on the back of my neck for its dinner.
On that fateful evening, as the rest of the kids zoomed around on their scooters and bikes, our two year old daughter Olivia and I did a swell job of cleaning out our rock steps which lead upward to the back yard. Every year since building those steps, the rocks that surround them get riddled with leaves through the fall and winter. As the leaves get imbedded between the rocks, the leaf blower does not seem to do the trick, so hand removal is necessary.
For some asinine reason, beginning at an early age, my kids have wanted to be right by my side when I’ve been outside working. Many times they wind up fighting over who gets to use the extra rake or shovel or who gets to do what, but on this busy evening they all seemed content on letting Olivia have me to herself.
As we got busy plucking leaves out of the rocks, Olivia and I put them in an old plastic flower pot which soon filled up and needed to be dumped out. I asked Hannah if she could run over to the edge of the woods and dump out our pot full of leaves, and as she did, Olivia observed her every move. Olivia decided quickly that being the leaf mule would be a great job, so as I continued to pick up leaves and fill the pot, Olivia would take them off and do the dump. It was quite a team effort.
The sun faded and the moon made its way into the sky as we were getting close to finishing our work. I sat down on one of the rock steps and worked on clearing out one of the last areas still littered with leaves. As I moved a small rock something scurried between my feet, and knowing we had lots of lizards I suspected the movement to be one of those. I moved the rock again to discover the flaw in my theory as a “rock crab”, or scorpion, scampered under another rock for shelter. As I squawked with excitement the bike and scooter riders all came running to see what the ruckus was all about.
I was now on the hunt. Armed with a small rock the size of my fist, I suddenly realized that I was sitting on the ground straddling a three inch scorpion scurrying between my legs. Each time I moved a rock a little, he scurried a little more. If I was going to take out this venomous arthropod I was going to have to act quickly and decisively. As the kids cheered me on I crippled our victim with my crude weapon and crushed its possibility of stinging one of us. Relieved, we covered him up with rocks and completed our leaf cleaning task.
Under the light of the moon as the darkness and mosquitoes surrounded us, Olivia and I made our way toward the house where everyone else had already retreated. I paused a moment and took the opportunity to point out the moon that God had made for us. As her eyes glistened with excitement in the moonlight, her tiny hand pointed upward as she waved to the moon and said, “Night, night moon.”
It reminded me of a time so many years ago in our old backyard. Bradley, now 9 years old, was about the size of Olivia then. We used to sit in our little swing in the backyard and point at that same moon. Every time Bradley would look up at the moon, he would say “God made it” as his little index finger pointed skyward.
From our oldest to our youngest, I’m confident that each of our children knows who made the moon and the mosquitoes, the sun and the stars. Many of these things they have learned over the years have been taught by direct lessons such as our time spent under the moon. So many more lessons they learn are the ones they silently observe as we wander through life together each day.
What are you teaching those around you today?
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You should bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6: 6-9
Written by David Steen, with God smiling, May 23, 2010.