It’s the noise we all hate – that soft little high-pitched whine that tells you an irritating little pest is about to land on you and give you a good-sized, itchy welt. That welt will itch for days and be a constant source of aggravation until it goes away. I HATE mosquito bites, more than I hate just about anything. That’s why, a few days ago, I almost ran my car off the road.
There I am, driving along, when I hear the noise. And there he is, bouncing and bumping up and down on my windshield, that irritating little whine going full-blast. Now I don’t know about you, but I’ll do just about anything to avoid a mosquito bite. So I started swatting. And missing. And swatting. And swerving. And missing again. Until it dawned on me – “If I keep swatting at this mosquito, I’m going to run my car off the road. And what’s worse – a car accident or a mosquito bite?” (That was a tough call.) I finally decided I’d rather endure a few days of itching than smash my vehicle into something or somebody, so I gave up my pursuit and concentrated on my driving again.
So, can a mosquito have a purpose? Apparently this one did, because I immediately made a connection. How often do we do that in life? How often do we allow life’s little irritations and inconveniences to take our eyes off the road? How big of a problem, really, is a mosquito? A few days of itching and an ugly bump that will go away. How big of a problem is a car accident? There’s a little bit of perspective.
What are the little irritations that remove our focus from the things that are truly important in life, such as pursuing a relationship with our Heavenly Father, or focusing on the calling He’s placed on our lives? Who hurt your feelings today? Is it worth putting a rift in a relationship, when God has called us to live at peace with all men? Who took your parking place at the grocery store? How important is the injustice you felt in comparison to God’s calling to consider others above ourselves? Who do you disagree with theologically? And how does that compare to God’s call to live in unity, in one mind and with one accord, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ?
Now back to the mosquito – believe it or not, it never did bite me. That’s right – no ugly, red bump to scratch at for days on end. No constant source of aggravation. Who knows where he went? He didn’t bite any of my kids, either. The point? Often, the things that get us so upset and take our eyes off the road never amount to anything except a little noise.
Next time I’m tempted to get overly concerned or involved with life’s every-day problems, swerving off the road and coming dangerously close to crashing into someone, I hope I’ll remember my calling instead. I hope I will put my eyes back on the road that God has called me to travel and focus again on Him. And I hope I’ll remember that mosquito – that irritating, whiny little pest with a purpose – to remind me of mine.