GENESIS 1:21-22 “And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.”
Anyone who has lived on the U.S. Gulf Coast for any period of time has probably had the miserable experience of dealing with Plecia nearctica, better known as the lovebug. For about a month in early spring and again in late summer, swarms of these insects surround us in a black cloud. If there is any living creatureon Earth which takes the phrase, “be fruitful and multiply” seriously, it is these little guys!
Many have questioned the purpose of these creatures. Supposedly they eat dead vegetation and release nutrients back into the soil and also aid the growth of grass. I tend to think God has another purpose for them. If we let them, they will eat away at the deadness in our character and fill it with the spiritual nourishment it needs to grow.
The first thing the lovebug teaches us is patience. One day I was sitting outside with several of these pests swarming around and it occurred to me they really were not doing me any harm. They do not bite, sting, or carry disease, they just like to live up to their name and show some love by clinging to you. There is no harm in this but it still does not prevent many of us from getting angry about their presence. How many times do we let petty, harmless things like this irritate us? If we lack the patience to tolerate a harmless bug clinging to our every move, how can we handle the real problems life throws at us?
Another lovebug lesson is to have faith. You cannot drive anywhere in lovebug season without getting a windshield full of bug guts, limiting your view of the road. You basically have to put your faith in God that your limited visibility will not cause you to hit something or run off the road. We should always have this faith and let God be the Driver of our life, rather than wait until we have no other choice but to rely on Him.
Something else we can learn from those filthy cars is not to be vain. It is our vanity which causes us to want a shiny, clean car when in reality all we need is reliable transportation. While it is good to take pride in the appearance of your possessions, which should be viewed as blessings from God, it should not become an obsession to the point where you sacrifice your Christian values when something happens to it.
Another lesson to be learned is perspective. Even if we learn to not allow the bugs to “bug” us, they still cause us to sweep our floors and wash our cars more frequently than usual. The good news is we only have to tolerate their presence twice a year. Instead of bemoaning the limited time we are inundated with lovebugs, we should appreciate the fact it is not a year round problem. Why is it we always complain about the bad things yet never savor the times when those bad things are no longer present?
Whenever hurricanes hit, complaining about no electricity becomes the topic of conversation. However, when power is restored you rarely hear those people thanking God for their electricity beyond the first few days they get it back. They are too busy complaining about the lovebugs!
So if anyone ever asks you what the purpose of a lovebug is, you can tell them they are here to make us better Christians!