One of the things I like to do in the spring is to wander through the old cemetery that lies in the corner of our property. Why spring? Because it's my favorite season and I love looking for the little spring plants that flourish in the old stand of trees. The cemetery is no longer cared for, in fact, when we bought the property we cleared out the underbrush, making it accessible. It's very peaceful up there and in the summer, if there's any breeze to be found, you'll find it there.
This year I was late visiting and I missed all the violets blooming. If I time it right, there's a carpet of purple blossoms, but this time there was only lush green leaves. Because we live so far out in the country, ticks are everyday pests--especially with my two younger boys, and I'm constantly telling them to stay out of the woods and the tall weeds. I now remember why. About an hour after returning to the house I was washing my hands and I noticed a dark speck in my hair. I pulled it out and found it was a tick. I'm not squeamish about bugs (it's a good thing, too) but I instantly felt creepy-crawlies all over my body and had my daughter check the rest of my hair.
I hadn't even stopped to consider ticks before going into the cemetery. But like I've told my kids, 'you can't go into tick country and expect to not get ticks on you.' I know there are things you can do to protect yourself, but I didn't take those precautionary steps, I just waltzed in.
There are many times in our lives when we have to enter tick infested areas--many of us are in those areas on a daily basis, and not being there isn't always an option. These are places where sin runs rampant and is even lauded as being 'normal' or 'hip'. You can't just waltz in and think you won't be affected by it, you will, whether you realize it or not--just like I carried home that tick hiding in my hair. If I hadn't spotted it, it would have crawled right up that curl and onto my scalp and fastened itself there, living off me freelyat least until I found it and pulled it out.
Have you ever had a tick fasten itself onto you? It doesn't feel nice when you pull it free, in fact, it hurts. When sin goes undetected in your life it's free to attach itself to you, to become a part of you, and when you go to remove it, it hurts. Just like some ticks can hold on tighter than you thought possible, so some sin holds onto you--it burrows under your skin and doesn't want to let go.
It's really much better to prepare yourself before going into places where ticks run freely. 'An ounce of prevention is worth a pound cure' really fits here. There are many things you can do to keep the ticks from getting to your skin, even if it means looking silly or odd.
But you don't even have to look different, you just need to spray with bug spray. Connecting with God and maintaining closeness with Him is the best way to repel the creepy crawlies that are all around. Saturating yourself with Him also makes you super sensitive to pests that would like to attach themselves to you. He heightens your sensitivities, allowing you to do away with the invader before it fastens itself to you.
Ticks are just part of living in the country just as sin is part of living in this world. We just need to make sure to prepare ourselves so we can catch those creepy crawlies before they sink their teeth into us.
Patty Wysong is a Christian wife and homeschool mom of 5 who is passionate about wrapping lessons in pretty packages that will point others to God.
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