There he was, careening down the New Jersey Turnpike at 70 miles an hour. The force of the wind and passing cars and trucks tried unrelentingly to break his grip. Every once in a while, he’d stretch out a leg, almost as if to just test the option of letting go completely. But he thought better of that idea. And in the end, he traveled 350 miles, clinging to the sideview mirror of my Honda.
It was a bug. We think it was a baby katydid. Bright green. Long legs. Even longer “feelers” on the top of his head. He climbed onto the car in my mother’s driveway in New Jersey, and held on until we arrived in Chesapeake, Virginia six hours later. I guess he wanted an adventure.
Now for any of you who know me, I am not a fan of bugs. So the fact that I was fascinated by this little green insect for six hours is remarkable. I found myself actually cheering him on instead of wishing I had a can of Raid or the back of a heavy shoe.
At one point I asked my sister and fellow traveler, “Do you think he’s freaking out?”.
I don’t know much about the brain activity or emotions of a katydid. Chances are, they don’t have much of either. But what I did figure out is that he was just doing what he was created to do. Hang on. I don’t think he was worried about how much longer the winds would try to pry his weird long legs off the mirror. I don’t think he was concerned with where he was going or how much longer the trip would be or where he would end up.
He simply held on.
Have you ever found yourself careening down the roads of life, strong winds trying to break your hold, trying to tear you off of your fragile grip of security and safety? And all you can do is hang on?
That’s exactly what we’re supposed to do. Hang. On. But while our tendency is to worry and fret and well, freak out, we need to be more like the traveling katydid. Tighten our grip and trust that God is in control. We need to trust that He knows the strength of the winds, the road ahead and the final destination.
The bug climbed off the car sometime during the night in the Chesapeake hotel parking lot. I joked about him having a Jersey accent in a world of Southern ones. And I imagined that as he slowly made his way off the mirror, he said calmly to himself, “Well now, that was quite an adventure.”
And that’s exactly how I want to live my life, too.
In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39
But He knows the way that I take. When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. Job 23:10
We went through fire and through water, but You brought us out to rich fulfillment. Psalm 66:12