Insects in Amber

The past couple of days the kids and I have been cutting up pieces of amber.  And just in case my wife is reading: No, I did not use your good knives (this time).

It’s a fabulous little hobby.  The amber is rough and dirty, so you have no idea what’s inside until you start cutting into it.  Then suddenly you see ants and pine needles and all kinds of amazing things.  And they’re all perfectly preserved inside the amber.  Imagine Christmas morning, except that you have to use sharp cutting tools to open your gifts and most of them are empty except for the ones that have bugs in them.  Okay, it’s really nothing like Christmas at all, but I still think it’s fun.

Anyway, sometimes I stop to think about how the bugs got inside.  I imagine a happy little fly seeing a drop of resin on the branch of a pine tree.  It looks kind of interesting and worth checking out.  The fly lands next to the drop and takes a closer look.

After a few minutes it decides to stick a leg in, just to test it out.  The resin is sticky and the fly can’t easily pull its leg out.  Since it has five other legs that are all free, the fly doesn’t think it’s  a big deal.  But the resin continues to flow from the tree and soon it envelops the fly’s other legs and then its wings and body.  The fly has lost its freedom and is now trapped forever.

Aren’t we sometimes like that poor fly?  We see something that looks interesting and we’re tempted to take a closer look.  We test it out and dabble just a little.  We find that it’s hard to get away from the sin, but we don’t think it’s a big deal because it’s not affecting any other aspects of our lives.  But, just like the fly, we fail to realize that sins don’t like to stay put.  They grow and spread until they damage every part of our souls.  We lose our freedom and find it’s almost impossible to pull ourselves out of the quagmire we’ve so foolishly entered.

There is an old saying:

Plant a thought and reap a word;
plant a word and reap an action;
plant an action and reap a habit;
plant a habit and reap a character;
plant a character and reap a destiny.

The most frightening part about all of this is that we are not only choosing our own destiny, but many times the destiny of our family members as well.  I still remember cutting into a block of amber and finding about half a dozen ants all clustered together.  I could almost see the ants as the first one was trapped and then the second and the third… each ant seeing but not recognizing the danger that was slowly but surely dooming their entire family.

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