Lost Cricket

I found a cricket this morning, dead on my living room floor.  I was having my morning coffee, walking my daily route around the living room, dining room, kitchen, trying to wake up, talking to God.  It was in the shadows so I couldn’t make it out at first, just a dark spot on the carpet.  I thought it was a spider, so I flipped on the lights to get a better look.  The splayed, long jointed legs gave its identity away immediately.  It was just laying there, still, upside-down, immobile.  Between thoughts of how it got there and its odd drained-looking color, I walked to the kitchen to get a paper towel to dispose of its body.  Just to be sure, when I got back I flipped it upright.  Suddenly the legs started moving.  It didn’t jump away quickly like I thought it would; it was sluggish as though waking from a stupor.  “Sorry, lil’ buddy, but I can’t have you creeping around my house,” I apologized to it as I crushed it in the paper towel and disposed of the mess in the trash.  (Given another moment or two, I might have carried it out to the patio and freed it, but I wasn’t quite awake yet and grabbed it up too tightly.)
But there was something evocative about the image of that cricket laying there that stirred my thoughts.  Usually these little creatures are full of life, hopping around, chirping at the night sky.  But inside my house on its back, it was not only defenseless, it was useless. I imagined it probably had become exhausted trying to right itself, and just gave in to its fate.  In surrender, it was vulnerable and ineffective.   And the parallel of how we live our lives worked its way to the surface of my mind. That’s just like us when we’re out of our element, when we get distracted, flipped upside-down from our purpose and mission.  We become sluggish and immobilized, paralyzed and useless.  And easy to squash.

The scene emphasized to me the importance of finding our purpose, finding our place and function — the things God created us to be and to do.  And that we should be doing those things, not straying into areas we weren’t designed for, outside our natural element.  Otherwise we end up like this poor cricket, exhausted, stuck in an awkward position — and ultimately crushed and thrown out with the trash.

Lord, open our eyes to see how all the gifts and talents and desires you’ve given us fit together into the great puzzle of the life you’ve designed for us.  And give us the strength and courage to live that life boldy.

5 Replies to “Lost Cricket”

  1. Wow. Who knew a cricket on the carpet could evoke such thoughtfulness? I totally get your point about purpose and being in our “element” – that outside of that we are just lost. Thanks, Steve.

  2. like a bug on its back… truly a dire image. you really made me think about my life and the times I’ve given up trying, given up hoping (read hopping). How I want to leap again…

  3. I’m a friend of Riita’s. I just read your blog on the cricket, and find that your insite is absolutely wonderful. How do you feel about “call to ministry”? Are you a pastor? I pastor at a Methodist church. Found your writings wonderful and inspirational. Thanks for the WORD!
    Pastor Sharen

  4. Interesting take on the cricket. One day some years ago, as my husband and I were ready to retire I heard the sound of a cricket. It seemed to be coming from the first step of the stairway on the way to our bedroom. My husband’s take on it was far different from mine! As the sound got closer, I realized the little guy was actually climbing the stairs! Now, I did not wish to have him in my bed or anything like that…no, no, but I couldn’t help admire his tenacity! Actually, I was rooting for him. I stood at the top of the stairs silently cheering him on…in the back of my mind I thought that perhaps either my husband or I could catch him and put him outside. I could not stand there waiting for him to make the final step, duty called. Just as I came out of the bathroom I heard my husband exlaim, “Gotcha!” To my horror, he had squashed the little guy! I cannot tell you how bad I felt!
    I do hope this is not the story of my Christian life….I do want to be like the little cricket, and against all odds “climb the whole stair case” but I would shudder to think that there was the enemy waiting for me at the top just waiting to “get me!”
    I know there is an enemy….but I have a Savior who is standing over him, and just when he reaches out to “get me”, Jesus reaches out and gets him! Now that, I find very encouraging. Thanks for your story, Steve. I wonder where you get your imagination from!

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