Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The 100 Hundred Meter Dash

The words tumbled from her mouth not making a lot of sense. Her eyes told most of the story. But at the stage she was speaking the race was over and she was now composing herself. Just like the other Olympic runners or athletes participating this past two weeks – she had won the race!

You know the scene… the reporter quickly corners the athlete to get their reflections of the past one minute of their life changing run! They can’t breath let alone talk.

Who was the athlete? Her name is Alida Lincoln. Yes, she is Zach Bell’s aunt. (Zach as you know is an Olympian this year and we have been sitting in front of the live video feed early in the morning. Yesterday he placed 12th in the Madison – maintained 3rd place but then died off as the long race went on.)

While telling me of her “Olympian Run”, Alida took me to the back yard and then approached her open garden shed doors – very carefully. She described the scene as we stood in front of the open doors.

Earlier she had needed some stakes from the shed. The stakes are stored over head as you open the doors. She grabbed one and began to move it to the back of the shed and then down. Without knowing it was there the end that was above her head stabbed into the biggest Hornet’s Nest we have ever seen! Quickly the warriors that protect the massive ball were launched – like a Star Wars kind of movie – to see who or what was trying to hurt their nest.

Alida is fast. Even faster now than her girlhood days. She cleared the shed and around the side of the garage in a heart beat. Not stung one time – even though the warriors tried very hard to get her.
The Nest was relevantly quiet as we approached. The workers were still busy going in and out the small entrance hole that they first found – top right of the door. There were about 10 at time in and out of the hole.

I stepped inside the shed carefully and quietly as I could. There above our heads, just above the shelf was the huge nest – about 12 inches across and the outside was crawling with workers rebuilding or building it bigger.

It was 2:00 PM – and the first shot of Foam into the small hole was enough to infuriate them. I have no idea where they all came from – but the 10 or so originally there massed from the trees and the bushes swarming around our heads. I managed to duct tape the hole and not get stung.

Late at night I returned with a full can of foam. It was cool and they were resting after dark. Carefully I opened the door…. aimed and sprayed… then inserted the long, thin tube through the paper walls of the nest and sprayed long and hard until foam spewed out.

That should do it. But it was at that point that the hum grew louder and louder. Apparently everyone in the Nest was now awake and were getting each other out of bed. Imagine someone waking them at 10 PM!

I think it was about that moment that my heroism evaporated and I slammed the doors shut… leaving the seen quickly. Not as fast as Alida – but fast.
This Morning…
There above the door inside was the massive nest – and all was quiet. There were four racks of eggs now exposed and hundreds of dead hornets. Nothing was moving so it was now safe. Gently I removed the massive ball into a waiting pail and then scraped the remaining paper sheets from the walls.

As I cleaned up – there above me was another hornet hovering with a questioning look on his face, “What’s up bud?” Then there were two and then more. Apparently these guys had been out carousing last night and were returning home early in the morning to work.

The interesting part was that they were not coming through the wide open shed doors – but still trying to get into the small duct taped hole. Now even an hour after the removal there are many coming in to inspect where their home had gone.

There has to be a good sermon illustration here.

The persistence and drive to build something for the good of the group is amazing. Imagine if the church or a company had that kind of stick-to-it-ness! Imagine if we protected and fought for what we were building with that zeal!

When the big, bad destruction comes we can ward almost anything off. (Well almost anything except a can of Foam.)

The togetherness of these workers is something else. All for one purpose – all knowing what the others were doing and all for the good of the whole.

At this moment I ‘almost’ feel some guilt…almost. But now we have the garden shed back again.

This nest has to have been there for over a few months. But even the noise of my getting the mower in and out never seemed to make much difference. I never noticed the swarm that was building there. In the bucket there is a good one pound of eggs, paper and dead Hornet bodies.

This desire was created by God…which is a mind stretcher alone. Why did he make these miserable creatures in the first place let alone give them the science and architecture to create what they do?

Someday I need to ask God a few questions when we meet face to face. Hmmm?

~ Murray Lincoln ~

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

since the hornets left you alone while you used the shed for your purposes, why couldn't you do the same? If I chose to live without them I would not have chose to kill them. I would have moved them or found a way. But, that's just me. On a side note, here, when I was a child I had an amazing experience with some ants. Something that changed everything.