“Dangling, Crawling Annoyances” by Reva Lachica Moore

“Dangling, Crawling Annoyances” by Reva Lachica Moore

Winter is over and as expected, our acre yard badly needed work. Underneath the carpet of dead leaves and twigs, new blades of grass had started to peek.

On the first day of spring, J.R. worked in the yard picking up twigs and running the lawn sweeper – unloading, filling up, and unloading dozens of times. Hours later, like magic, the yard changed colors – from dull brown to vivid green. It was so beautiful! A look of contentment showed on J.R.’s face.

Still, we didn’t have long to enjoy the manicured lawn because during the next two days, 50 mile-per-hour wind gusts pushed across our state. The yard looked like a disaster zone! Twigs and leaves littered the ground and J.R. worked another full day to make everything look nice again.

For weeks I worked inside the house and looking through the glass door I could see the azaleas and lilies in full bloom. In front of the shed I could see purple and red flowers from pots that we had discarded “for dead” last fall. And the petunias hanging down from the gazebo were full of new flowers. The plants have come alive! Mother Nature seems to wave at me, “Come, sit at the gazebo and enjoy the flowers.”

However, I had hundreds of letters to write and errands to run. So, I could hardly wait to get done. I worked some more and looked forward to sitting in the gazebo and sip hot chocolate. Finally, my work was completed. With an armful of mail early one morning, I walked toward the mailbox at the end of the driveway when suddenly, dozens of invisible, sticky, silken threads started to wrap around me. The more steps I took, the more sticky threads I felt. They stuck to my face, my hair, my arms, my clothing.

Through the sunrays I saw hanging from the oak trees in vast hordes, little crawling things ready to trap an unsuspecting passer-by like me. The caterpillars had taken over the trees like an army of dangling, crawling invaders.

“Watch out for the worms,” J.R. hollered. “They’ll get on your hair and clothes.” A little late warning.

Quite excited to sit inside our wrought-iron gazebo, I forgot about the caterpillars that usually come with the warming temperatures and new flush of leaves in spring. I let out a deep sigh.

This explained why I saw J.R. doing “fencing” moves with a long stick under the trees the day before. He was clearing his path of hundreds of silken threads under which hung the tiny caterpillars. And before he came inside the house, he used a brush to sweep the caterpillars off his clothes and hair.

I sat in the gazebo, but not for long. Not only did I have to contend with the crawling things, I started sneezing non-stop; I couldn’t enjoy the nice spring weather and the new blossoms. And so, I looked through the glass window, and if I want to go outside, I’d take an antihistamine and place a towel on my head.

Doesn’t this remind us about what happens in our everyday lives? Each time we look forward to a great day or week, little annoyances lurk around and before we know it, our day, even our week is ruined. “It’s always something…” – this I hear people say.

Many years ago, when I worked in a chemical laboratory, a certain lab tech showed up in the lab one day. I used to work alone and thoroughly enjoyed my solitude, but here came an “agitator” who literally aggravated me all day. He followed me everywhere. He gossiped and told rumors of the impending downsizing of our company. He snickered and belittled me. “Yeah, you may be the employee of the quarter, but that does not mean you’re safe from being terminated,” he derided me. He went on and on. I tried to ignore him thinking I was strong enough not to give in to his tricks. But at day’s end as I drove home, I felt this awful pain in my chest as if someone had literally cut my heart open. Then I realized that my co-worker’s hurting sneers and derision had caused my pain; I was totally devastated. I couldn’t believe that in my busyness I had allowed the man to tear me down to pieces. Then in the middle of the week, some more setbacks came that stemmed from trivial things that grew into bigger frustrations and bitterness.

Then I remembered the story of Jesus when He was tempted for forty days by the devil. When He was hungry, the devil told Jesus to command the stone to become bread. Then the devil told Jesus that He can have all the kingdoms of the world, if Jesus would worship the devil. And the devil also told Jesus to throw Himself off a cliff for His angels will catch Him. And in these three incidents, Jesus answered the devil appropriately and told him to leave Him alone.

It’s so easy to get caught up in our everyday toils and turmoils; we forget that all we have to do when little annoyances come our way is to say: “Get thee behind me, Satan!”

Do not let the enemy ruin your day.

Matthew 16:23 “But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”