Since we moved to this house nearly three years ago, we’ve experienced massive ladybug infestations. Some seasons are worse than others and mostly affect my back porch, but almost anytime of the year, I have a few who live indoors. For whatever reason, even though they’re bugs, ladybugs kinda make me happy. Maybe it’s because they make cute little girl clothes with ladybugs on them or that the harmless, polka dotted creatures remind me of spring. Whatever the reason, I’ve learned to cohabitate with them well.
Each day I find one or two, mostly in my kitchen. Today, I found one just hanging out on a wooden spoon, so I tapped the spoon to knock her off on the counter. (I assume they are all girls since they are called ladybugs.) I didn’t mean to, but I accidentally dropped her in the sink, right in a bowl full of water. Since I’ve inadvertantly done this before, I know they aren’t proficient swimmers. So quickly, knowing this was a life or death situation, I engaged in an emergency water rescue. I helped her out and onto the counter. Legs were squirming, so I felt the mission was a success and sighed in relief – until a minute later when I found her unresponsive. I went as far as placing her higher up on a planter and took this shameless photo op – just in case. I prayed for resurrection. Not. Even. Kidding.
Good news! A little later she was gone (and not dead in the bottom of the water tray). This isn’t an Easter story btw.
As I moved my little ladybug, the phrase cohabitating with ladybugs came to mind. Hello Holy Spirit! Of course He took this moment to teach me a lesson and prepare to move me to a new place with Him. He showed me: I am willing to cohabitate with ladybugs in my home, but I’m not a great cohabitator elsewhere. Many of us aren’t. At church or restaurants or just plain out around people, I get annoyed when they misbehave. I expect behavior of them that they may not be mature enough to demonstrate. I’m not even talking about kids – don’t get me started on that.
I forget that lost people act lost. New Christians still often “act” lost. It takes time to grow up in the faith. I look back on my early and even later behavior and can blush in embarrassment over what I fool I was – and still can act at times. I’m still a work in progress. So is everyone else. And once again, I’m reminded, I’m not the Holy Spirit Jr. I’ve gotta let them be who they are, yet still participate as God allows me in discipling them. We are all called to do that. You know, “Go and make disciples…” (Not go and make saved people.)
All this to say, no matter where you are in your walk, you likely need some growing up. I totally do! Please never let go of the concept that you will always need continuing discipleship. Also, remember that others do too. What you do know, find a way to share that with others who might be newer to their faith. Gently, kindly, helping them along, not beating them with your Bible.
With this in mind we can cohabitate with other believers much better and act like grown ups around the lost. They are watching! Finally, remember this: if you accidentally knock someone into a bowl of water, or just plain wound someone, do what it takes to help rescue them. 🙂
Grace and Peace to you,