Monday, July 05, 2010

30 Days of Smelling -- Bug Spray


That's how I feel about bug spray. I hate the smell of it. I hate the feel of it.

Double bleh.

That's how I feel about mosquitoes and biting flies. They are a curse. One of the banes of life next to a woods. The other morning, before all this blamed heat and humidity set in, I decided to go into the woods and battle bush honeysuckle. My mortal enemy. So I mixed up a backpack sprayer of special herbicide (I'm a herbicidal maniac when it comes to bush honeysuckle) and headed into the woods.

Bad idea. I was immediately swarmed by mosquitoes. I had forgotten to cover myself with bug spray. Thirty seconds and thirty bites later (I'm not exaggerating ... I counted), I headed back out. Yikes.

Last night, before heading out to the park to watch fireworks, I did not make the same mistake. I thoroughly soaked myself in the stuff. Even though I hate the smell and feel, it worked. It kept the mosquitoes away so I could enjoy the booming celebration. I may have put a bit too much as it also kept people away.

Well, for an introvert, that's not all bad. Ha.

It did make me think that protection is not always comfortable. I was sitting there feeling sorta greasy and stinky, but safe from biting insects. It was really hot and humid as I thought about other protection -- like a suit of armor, for example. How uncomfortable that would be on a hot humid day. Okay, so it's weird to be thinking of armor while sitting on a Midwest hill waiting for fireworks... but I'm weird.

And that weird thought then morphed into spiritual protection. I remembered Paul's' injunction to the Ephesians -- "Put on the full armor of God .. so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

Now as a Quaker-type, all those militaristic metaphors bug me more than a little bit. Plus it all sounds a bit cumbersome. And yet, as the stinky, yucky bug spray reminded me... protection is not always comfortable. But it is protection. Physical or spiritual.

So I guess I need to be buckling up the belt of truth, taking up the shield of faith, and fitting my feet with the gospel of peace more often than I'm covering myself in bug spray.

-- Brent

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