In the world of T Bar M Camps, a “farkle” is a game of rock, paper scissors. It is used to make decisions, decide who goes first and occasionally (well, often…) fun and harmless stakes are at risk.
Don’t be fooled…camp traditions don’t end when the campers go home. So, one fall day … a few years ago (ahem, quite a few), it was quite normal for me to strike up a challenge with one of the directors’ kiddos. A six year old. No worries. I’ve got this. She’s six. I can win this farkle.
The rules were established. Rock beats scissors, scissors beat paper and paper beats rock. Best two out of three.
The stakes were set. She wins and I eat an ant from her brother’s ant farm.
Harmless. It was a simple, fun game to pass time while babysitting for my friends. Even if I lost, it still seemed harmless. A little itty bitty ant vs. me. Harmless.
On three … Rock versus paper. One point for Kelli.
One, two three … Paper versus rock. One point for Staci
Tie Breaker … Scissors versus rock. Serve up the ant.
I must admit, even though I lost…it was worth it to see the celebration dance of my blue eyed, blond haired little friend. You would have thought she had just won a gold medal in farkling the way she paraded around the house in utter delight with her big win.
By this time, the excitement in the house had grown and the other siblings had gathered around. The chanting began, “eat the ant, eat the ant”.
Bryan, the older brother, took an ant from his “farm” and served it up to me on a small plate. They were so giddy with the way this was unfolding.
I took the ant between my thumb and finger to put it in my mouth. I squeezed it a tad bit before releasing…just to make sure nothing live was crawling around in my insides.
One, two, three…down the ant went. The cheers erupted, my face winced a bit. But all in all, the interaction with the little bitty ant and me was quite uneventful.
Until I got home.
About two hours later, something hit…the sharpest pain I have ever experienced in my stomach. I laid on the couch in a huge amount of pain while begging my roommate, Jamie, to spray ant killer down my throat. (disclaimer: we didn’t. It was a momentary, pain inflicted idea that went nowhere.)
How in the world can one little bitty ant bring so much pain? My insides were in pain. My eyes were watering. I was in fetal position on the couch. One seemingly harmless decision rocked. my. world.
When it was all over, I had survived the great ant attack on my stomach without spraying insecticide in my throat, going to the doctor nor any long term physical consequence.
But I did realize one thing… Ants are a lot like sin .
Let’s not let the little temptations and excitement of the moment fool us, we need to be aware that all of our decisions are important. They are either life giving or life paralyzing. When we choose to follow Jesus in every small way, it brings great joy. When we don’t, it can put us in a spiritual fetal position on the couch! May we be aware of every little thing we put in our hearts.
Romans 6:23 cuts to the chase on sin, “The wages of sin are death, but the free gift of God is eternal life.”
Death or free gift of life? Man, when it’s put that simply…it’s easy!
Let us choose wisely in every little decision we make. (And of course, choose your farkles carefully too!)
Even the little “ant sized” things can bring seemingly death or absolute life!