Last Saturday, we took our youth group to the home of some shut-ins to do yard work. This elderly couple has severe health problems, and we thought it would be a good thing for the youth to learn the joy of doing for others. So, we gathered rakes and attempted to rake up their yard and clean out their gutters. Notice I said "attempted."
They have several large trees in their yard, and the more we raked, the more the wind blew. At times, it was downright frustrating. We hadn't been there long when one of the other youth leaders found a baby copperhead hiding in the leaves. I DON'T LIKE SNAKES!!!!! After the guys studied the squirming creature for a few minutes, they cut off its head. Yuck! I went around and warned all the other groups to be careful.
I had been carelessly scooping up leaves by the handfuls up until that point, but after seeing that snake, I was much more cautious about what I was picking up. It was a good thing because the pile I was working on was full of giant spiders. I DON'T LIKE SPIDERS EITHER!!!! Then, to top it all off, I was on the last little bit of the pile when a lovely little scorpion came crawling out. At that point, our youth group had the opportunity to see me dance. I don't know how many times I stomped on that thing, but my feet were sore when I was done. I REALLY DON'T LIKE SCORPIONS!!!!!!!!! I was stung by one once, and I never want to experience that again. So, needless to say, we had a VERY interesting day, and I even learned a couple of things.
1. Sometimes it seems like your work is in vain, but just keep trying. There were still leaves on the ground when we left. They were falling from the trees every second. Despite that, the yard looked much better when we left. Was it clear of leaves? No. Was it much better? Yes. So, was the work in vain? No, it just seemed like it at the time.
2. It's wise to be on guard. If we hadn't found the snake to begin with, I wouldn't have been nearly as careful, and I could have been bitten by a spider or stung by a scorpion. But because I was on guard, I likely prevented some bad things from happening. Life is the same way. If we will be on guard, we might prevent some nasty falls. Watch out for that dirty thought. Be on the lookout for that unkind word. Does that mean we won't mess up? No, but we have a better chance if we will learn to be watchful. Who knows? We may even get to do a little dance!