Beware of the “Noseeums!”
Wednesday, September, 24, 2014 | 3:00 PM | by asmith
I recently enjoyed a marvelous adventure in Alaska linked to my birthday!
We caught lots of Silver Salmon and even experienced a “wild moose chase” in a remote region near the Mulchatna river. However, I got caught by a tiny biting fly called a “noseeum.”
The fishing was phenomenal on a gorgeous lake amidst the Kenai Fjords. I stood in one spot and caught 23 Silver Salmon that averaged 16 pounds apiece! Bears, eagles and spectacular waterfalls enhanced the magnificent landscape God crafted. But what I could not see proved hurtful.
To capture this singular experience, I took off my head-netting to snap some pictures. This lake hosts a massive number of Silver Salmon returning from the Pacific to their native spawning ground but it also is infested by an uncountable number of swarming mosquitoes, biting flies called “whitesocks” and a vicious little insect named “noseeums” because they are hard to see. The no-see-ums or the ceratopogonidae are tiny biting midges who suck blood from their hosts. The bite causes intense itching and red welts arising from an allergic reaction to their saliva. Those little rascals invaded when I took off my head-netting and had a feast on the table of my forehead. When I finally realized that these enemies were chomping on my head, it was too late. My noggin started swelling like someone whacked me with a bat! The next day swelling drained from my inflated forehead and moved downstream to my eyes, nose and cheeks. Since we were in a remote place that contained no mirrors, I was blessed not to have to look at myself. You have heard of the “mark of the beast” on the forehead—well I had the “mark of the noseeum” on me!
Here is the point: WHAT YOU CAN’T SEE, CAN HURT YOU!
I mistakenly ignored the noseeums because they appeared to be small and inconsequential. You can make the same mistake on the spiritual level. You can ignore feeding small morsels to an addiction by rationalizing that a little sin can’t hurt me – I’m immune to getting hooked. You can justify little flares of anger that eventually combine to scorch a friendship. The bite of little lies like blood sucking flies will eventually infect a relationship with distrust. Entertaining little compromises that pull you away from God’s Word and God’s People functions as the equivalent to inviting a noseeum invasion. Letting little excuses and frustrations prevent you from engaging in doing God’s work will contaminate your call to serve.
Hear and heed God’s Word: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses (and a great cloud of pesky noseeums) let us lay aside every encumbrance and sin that does so easily entangle us; (Don’t let the little blood-sucking sin in) and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on JESUS, the author and perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)