Gayle's husband Jimmy has made an oasis of flowers, paths, fountains and sitting areas out among the hills and scrub oaks and I decided to read a book and bask in the warmth of the sun while Patricia was getting her massage.
It was an absolutely perfect day by Oklahoma standards. Blue skies, mild temperature, no humidity and just the slightest breeze.
I wandered around for several minutes trying to decide which of the many spots would be the most aesthetically pleasing and finally picked a place just off the back deck where a symphony of flowers surrounded me and a tiny fountain gurgled in a cobalt blue container.
For the longest time I just basked in the warmth of the sun and marveled at all the different variety and colors of the plants and flowers that surrounded me. These are the things that always make me marvel at God's infinite creativity and the incredible beauty and complexity of the world we live in.
I finally decided to read my book, but within a few short minutes I became aware of a very strange sort of munching sound. It was faint but audible and one of the frustrating things about my ADD is that I can't filter out sounds like most people can. I hear everything.
So I started looking around to see what on earth was making this funny noise. And then I saw it. Just a few feet from me on the large, bright green leaf of a banana tree was a grasshopper munching away!
I was absolutely mesmerized for reasons I can't possibly explain. But I sat there for at least 30 minutes and listened to that grasshopper until it had chewed a golf ball sized hole in the leaf.
I was stunned by its detailed and vibrant markings. On both sides of its body were long yellow triangles outlined in black which created a vivid contrast on its bright green body. I could see its tiny, beedy eyes and the spurs on its legs.
I marveled as I thought about how beautiful it was. As I considered that those teeny, tiny eyes could actually see and that it had a tiny digestive system that would process the leaf it was eating into everything it needed to sustain its life.
Then I glanced down and to my left and saw a dozen more, just as elaborately dressed, sunning themselves on a rock. Apparently they had already eaten!
All I could think about was the goodness of God and His faithful provision. It made me think of Jesus' wise discourse in the Sermon on the Mount where He says in Matthew 6:25-29, which I feel compelled to quote in its entirety:
"For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body as to what you should put on. Is not life more than food and the body than clothing?
"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?
"And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life's span?
"And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these."
I kept thinking about that verse as I was looking at how beautifully God had "clothed" that silly grasshopper, and how He had given it an instinct to know exactly what to eat and how much. (Side note: Have you ever noticed you never see fat insects, fish or animals? Interesting isn't it, that only we humans overindulge!)
I really can't explain why this little creature intrigued me so much! Maybe it was because it made me realize the truth of the verses I just quoted.
If God takes care of a few grasshoppers in Manford, Oklahoma, and makes sure they eat and sun and hang out with other grasshoppers, what could I, as one among the crowning glory of His creation, created in His own image and likeness, possibly have to worry about?
The answer seems ridiculously obvious.
Nothing, nada, null.
Zippo, zilch, zero.
Not one thing.