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Michel: Smallest pests can cause life’s greatest headaches

Anything bugging you today? Perhaps you can relate to something that happened to my daughter Monique during a family trip a few years ago.

All was going well until…

“Something in this bed is biting me!” Monique’s cry broke the silence that had finally settled over our hotel room.

“Don’t be ridiculous, Monique, go to sleep,” I said, anxious to find the sleep that the others were enjoying.

“I’m telling you something is biting me,” she insisted, now out of bed and feverishly scratching the tiny red spots on her feet and legs.

Her sister Elise was the first to spot them. Ants. About 25 of them crawling around the territory that Monique had attempted to invade.

Monique’s shrieks continued. “I told you! What kind of place is this! We must move! Call someone! Do something!”

Of the three phones available to me, I chose the one in the bedroom, where my husband Michael was sleeping. I was not trying to wake him up, honest, I wasn’t. I just wanted to use the phone farthest away from wailing Monique. But she followed me into the room.

I contacted the front desk and explained our dilemma.

“Ants?” questioned the lady who probably thought that her late shift would be quiet.

“Ants,” I assured her.

“Ants?” she again asked.

“Ants!”  

“It rained this week, and we’ve been having problems with ants,” she said. “I have no bug spray. I will bring Windex. It will scare them away.”

“Windex?” I asked, shocked at this solution.

“Windex!” Monique screamed. “I do not want them shiny and streak-free, I want them gone. Do you hear me, gone?”  

Did I hear her? Everyone in Houston could hear her. Well, except for Michael. If he wasn’t sleeping, he was successfully portraying someone who was.

Monique finally settled down during my “you can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you respond to it” speech. A quick change of the linens, a few squirts of Windex, and we slept.

Isn’t it amazing how ants have the ability to disturb the composure of the people who tower over them? Nevertheless, even the smallest things are capable of inflicting damage.

Magnificent oak trees that have weathered decades of storms can fall if threatened by termites.

Little crawling, gnawing insects have the capacity to topple lofty trees.

I marvel at the people who have yielded to the grace of God and stood against the winds of sickness, financial strains, job losses, marriage problems and struggles with children. Yet, it’s the little pests that seem to be an equal, if not greater, danger.

I think that we must also beware of the biting words, the nagging remarks that crawl through our conversations and the negative thoughts that attempt to fly into our minds. If given the opportunity, these will severely damage our relationships with our friends, our family and our God.  

Song of Solomon 2:15 warns us to catch the little foxes that spoil the vine. I don’t want to allow any “little foxes” of careless words and actions to eat away at my fruit. I know that the same God Who sustains me through the storms will give me the power to overcome the pesky little annoyances that attempt to invade my life. And when it comes to scaring off these intruders, He is much better than Windex.

Ronny Michel may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.