AN ARMY OF WORMS
I like to listen to farmers as they talk. Being a city boy, farming is unfamiliar to me. So, I learn something new by listening to the farmers as they talked about army worms. I heard about army worms when one of our farming members called the church asking his dad to come help him, “because army worms were on the move.” Hhmm, I thought, army worms. Then, we were eating with a couple we’re close to and I asked Benny, a farmer, about army worms. He told me a few horror stories; how a neighbor farmer had looked over his field and saw the ankle high crop just disappear before his eyes. On further inspection, it was a huge infestation of army worms. Benny had found army worms in his crops, just time, or so he thought. They were devouring one of his fields and were moving toward another. So, he sprayed between the two fields to protect the remaining crop. What did the army worms do? They moved through the sprayed area without eating a single poisoned leaf until they came out on the other side and they chowed down on the healthy field. Just some dumb army worms, but they were focused on getting to the other field. Nothing was going to stop them and in order to reach their goal, they altered their behavior; didn’t consume the strip covered with insecticide; held their appetite in check and got to where they were going. Yes, they are pests and they cause our farmers hardship and headaches.
BUT…you have to admire the ability of the army worms to survive and thrive. You got to give them their due. They have the ability to stay on one path and adapt to a given situation.
Perhaps, the Church could learn from the army worms. What if the church were just as focused on its mission and ministry?–so focused that fear, anger, distraction, factions, self-worship, nothing would deter the church from accomplishing that which God has called the Church to do?
What would the church look and act like if the church were working together? in one accord? as one force? just like army worms? That is where they get their name, I am told. They stretch out in one huge block, and move in concert with each other, like an army–steady, undeterred, fulfilling their mission–looking for fresh fields. What if we were talking about the army of the Church, stretching out over the world, moving in harmony with each other, steady, undeterred, fulfilling their calling in the mission fields in our county, our inner cities, our nation, our world?
A farmer friend said the army worms are so bad this year because the cold weather didn’t kill them, but killed their natural enemies who keep the army worms in check.
What keeps the church in check? Are we our own enemy?
Is it our inability or refusal to do what God calls us to do?
What if the world had as much trouble stopping the Army of the Church as our farmer friends have stopping army worms?