My family and I have lived in Las Vegas for a year and a half now. For the first year, we lived in a different house on the other side of the city, where the entire outdoors was infested with lizards, scorpions, and cockroaches. Lots of cockroaches. Not just during the night, or in dark, food-encrusted corners, but everywhere outside, even in the middle of the day. Big ones. Quite nasty.
In our new house, we don’t seem to have hardly any of those critters running around, but what we do have is ants. Lots, and lots, of ants… You walk outside onto the back patio, and if you look down at the ground without moving your head for a second, you notice that the ground itself appears to be in motion. They are busily scampering about in every direction, on little “scouting missions”, and even constantly entering our home through the countless cracks which are all but invisible to me, scouring the floors and walls and even counters searching for food. I’ve got little poison traps set, and for a while I was really annoyed by these things. If you find yourself standing in one place for too long outside, they eventually start crawling up your ankles. And yes, they bite.
But maybe it was just because we just watched the movie “Transcendence” the other day, (which was really quite disappointing actually) where Johnny Depp uploads himself as a quasi-A.I. man-turned-computer-god, who of course, becomes so exponentially intelligent that he quickly invents his own nanobots which can repair human cells and rebuild whatever physical matter he wishes. Maybe that not-so-profound exploration of the perils of human/technological intersection was what prompted me to take a second look at these tiny little creatures who previously only irritated me. Whatever the reason was, I suddenly found myself marveling at how this vast, microscopic kingdom of little ants was busily canvasing my yard, and the neighbor’s as well, and really doing us all a fairly laudable service, quietly and constantly recycling the dead bugs and rodents and everything else, as they diligently carry tiny pieces of whatever they find back to their interconnected tunnels, which poke out of the ground in these incredible concentric circles of dirt (see photo above). Humans didn’t conceive of this idea of “nanobots”. God did. And so, for the first time in probably too long, I was reminded of just how elaborate and often overlooked the greatness of God’s creation is. I spend so much time being fixated on the various workings of fallen humans in the world at large, that I rarely stop to appreciate the beauty and wonder of things as mundane-yet-incredible as the art colonies in my yard. As I watch them busily going to and fro, oblivious to the latest fear-mongering news reports on CNN, they testify to the fact that even in a place like Las Vegas, where at a glance all would seem dried up and dead if not for our sprinkler systems and a/c units and imported palms, the world is indeed teeming with life and activity which is still not factored into our artificial constructs of “economy”.
Even in the desert, God shows us how he can provide for even the smallest of creatures, and He can surely provide for us as well, through whatever deserts of life we might find ourselves in. Thank you Lord for giving me something as simple as those ants, to remind me that you are still God, and that your “eye is on the sparrow”, and the ants, and all of us…