About mid-walk, he detoured off the trail and started hunting for a place to do his business. Nothing odd about that. He tromped back and forth, circled about four times, then finally proceeded to do his thing. Still, nothing odd. When he was finished, I looked over. . . bear with me, for this is going to sound gross. . .to inspect his poo. This is not a normal habit of mine, but Tippy, our beagle, has been fighting a battle with internal worms, so I was checking to see if they had spread to Mitch. Gross, I know, but completely necessary.
Anyway, when I looked at his pile, I immediately noticed it was totally engulfed in ants. Horrified, I turned to look at Mitch. Sure enough, all four of his paws, particularly his front paws, were swarming with ants. He danced and bit at them. Panic filled his eyes as they crawled and crawled. As for me, I did the only thing I could think to do. I dropped his leash, wrapped each of my hands around his two front legs and moved them up and down as fast as I could, like I was shucking corn.
As I fought to keep him calm and the clear the ants, I was amazed at how many had managed to crawl up his legs. There were hundreds of them. I guess all that walking back and forth and circling didn't help, but still. Good grief, these things were fast. There were so many on his front paws that he literally looked like he was wearing socks. Thankfully, I was soon able to rid him of the ants, and we were able to continue on our way.
But as I walked, I pondered how quickly the ants had overwhelmed him, and that led me to the following train of thought. Sometimes in life, we decide to take a quick detour off the trail that God has laid out for us. What we fail to take into consideration, however, is how quickly the "ants of sin" can overtake and overwhelm us. We just stop for a brief moment. We don't intend to stay long. But in the course of those few minutes, we find ourselves covered. Temptations abound. After all, we've already stepped off the path, what would it hurt if we went a little further. It happens in the blink of an eye, before we even realize what's happening. Then, if/when we do get back on the trail, we have to shed the excess weight before we can take up the journey again.
The moral of today's lesson? Just stay on the straight and narrow way. Don't get off. Don't take a detour or a shortcut. When God has made your path clear, stay on it until He tells you otherwise. It's better that way. Take it from the girl who recently shucked ants!
Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. - Psalm 119:35