life lines- Lessons from the termite guy

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By Ian Robinson,Major

We are at war and the invasion has already begun!

The little creatures in our attic may think they have the upper hand in this battle but they have failed to reckon with Larry the Termite Guy. When he called us together for a pre-tent meeting to explain how we can win this war, I expected to be bored blind. Instead, I was utterly captivated.

I was captivated by his knowledge. What Larry didn’t know about termites could be written on the back of a postage stamp. He described their physiology, anatomy, history, eating habits and mating procedures. We learned where they live, where they can’t live, how they travel from house to house and how they live in huge colonies. We even discovered that the “queen” termite can lay up to 2,000 eggs every day! The 4,000 species of termite broadly fall into two categories—dry wood and earth—and they thrive in tropical and sub-tropical climates.

Even more, I was captivated by his zeal. Larry gave his presentation with great enthusiasm and confidence. Because of his excitement about termites he drew us easily into the battle plan. The termites would be exterminated with some kind of new chemical. We had to bag all our perishable food and move out of our house for three days.

“People, plants and pets” was his continuing mantra throughout the evening. “You need to get all people, plants and pets out of your house before we begin.” All too soon, the 90-minute presentation was over and we headed back to our townhouse with an overwhelming sense that victory was in the bag.

After enjoying two nights in a local Long Beach hotel, we went back to a termite-free home. I can now go to bed safe in the knowledge that the roof will not collapse on top of me one dark and fateful night. All thanks to Larry the Termite Guy.

There is a lesson in this for us—probably several lessons, but one in particular has stuck with me. It was Larry’s enthusiasm for his war against termites. We are engaged in an infinitely greater war against sin but many of us lack enthusiasm. We ignore it or treat it lightly. We seem to have lost the zeal of the early Salvationists who sang:

Make the world with music ring,

While with heart and voice we sing

Praises to our God and King,


Tell with no uncertain sound,

To the nations all around,

Of the Savior we have found,


(Salvation Army Song Book #809)


As the apostle Paul wrote, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord” (Rom. 12:11). Surely, if Larry can captivate me with his enthusiasm for termites, then can I not captivate others with my enthusiasm for the gospel?

Imagine a world ringing with the enthusiastic voices of Christians talking about Jesus and his love, his sacrifice and his salvation. Imagine what would happen. Imagine…



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