We all long to be connected. Some how, some way. It’s why the Internet exists. It’s why my son acts goofy to make people laugh. It’s why we smile at those who walk by us, or look out our windows when someone drives by our house. It’s why we check our non-ringing phones, search the bills in the mail for that non-existent personal letter, look out for a car that never drives up our driveway. It’s why I am here writing, hoping in this small part of the world, someone is taking the time to read the words I am writing. It is why I keep interrupting my cleaning of the mess that surrounds me, for cleaning is not a way to be connected. It’s pretty solitary.
Today I connected with a bug. Yes, that’s right. A bug. They aren’t hard to ignore this time of year. I was laying on my lawn, soaking in the last bits of sunshine on a lukewarm day. I had just finished reading 4 chapters of a great book so I am caught up for homegroup tomorrow. And when I finished, I wasn’t ready to leave my sunsoaked spot. So I laid the book down and rested my head on my arms. And I watched the grass. And in that grass, I noticed a green bug going leaf to leaf. And in those few minutes, I watched this bug do more work than I had done all day. He went to a leaf, painstakingly feeling his way around and allowing his small spiny legs to maneuver himself precariously. And then he would pause, and then drink in any moisture from this leaf through this small tube of a mouth. And when he was done, he would repeat the whole process.
In that moment, I was no bigger than that bug. And I saw the small blades of grass as the giant forest he was traveling. In that moment, I was connected to that bug. And it’s funny, because as small as that bug was, I noticed him. But as large as I was, he never noticed me.
Sometimes things are so large we just can’t see them.
The connection is out there. It does exist. And it’s become so easy to look at the things just at our level as huge, and miss the things that are right there in front of us because we miss the details. Sometimes it’s because they appear too small. Most of the time it’s because they are too large. We are those insects in the forest of grass, focusing too much on our own details, seeing them as so large that we miss the bigger picture. We feel pain and regret, longing and sadness, want overcoming need, desire for that bigger pasture. And we miss the things we have, the God that is faithful, the kids who look up to us, the parents who care for us, the friends who are always a phonecall away. We miss all that for the things and people we lost along the way who are not giving us what we want. We miss all the things that are there to fulfill us for the lament over the things that fail us. And then we are so focused on our own misery that we miss out on the other people who need and depend on us, those that could really use our care and support while we lament over the care and support we aren’t receiving from sources that won’t freely give us that.
And it’s so easy to do, and so hard to get away from. There’s always a need for more than what we have, missing what we’ve lost, taking for granted all that still remains, and always will.
And in that came the full circle of my connection to that bug. For he was working for what he needed, and not taking more, or even lamenting over, what he didn’t have. It was all that simple. It’s so simple, it’s huge. And it’s so huge, I am still having a hard time seeing it.