My Thoughts Are Not Your Thoughts
A Worm’s Journey
by Scott Moyer
I first learned of the worm while taking a shower. A voice outside the door shouted something with great urgency. I responded with my standard answer, “Open the door so I can hear what you’re saying.” “Dad,” Matthew said (now audible), “there’s a worm in trouble.” “I can’t do anything about that at the moment,” I replied, “I’m in the shower.” I must admit, this news had absolutely no impact on the speed with which I concluded my shower.
I’m sure you can picture the background story of the events unfolding. A worm had wandered (flopped?) out of the safety of the grass and dirt in the cool dew of the morning. For lack of a name, we’ll call our blissfully unaware worm by the name WORM. WORM found himself (itself?) on the concrete path just as the Sun began to heat the day. And so began the crisis that did not change the speed of my shower.
By the time I was out and dressed, the crisis was averted. My sons, Matthew and Luke, told the story with all the necessary detail of a tale that would someday become legend. The abbreviated version went something like this: “We pulled out the hose.” “I squirted him once, and he started moving.” “I squirted him again until he moved into the grass.” Their excitement was palpable. As you can imagine, I struggled to muster the appropriate level of enthusiasm for our heroes, but I did appreciate their evident care for very-nearly-the-least among us.
Upon later reflection I realized the importance of this story in understanding God. Yes, you heard me right: GOD! WORM was likely unaware of the fate that was literally dawning. I suspect that WORM did not initially appreciate the flood unleashed upon him. All subsequent efforts by WORM were probably an attempt to escape from the unexpected deluge.
All you who are thirsty, come to the water!
My boys, intent on saving, used the means at their disposal to encourage WORM to safety. I noted that they did not take the situation into their own hands, lifting WORM miraculously to wet land, an act that might easily have led to more harm for rapidly-drying WORM. Instead, they very thoughtfully involved WORM in his own salvation.
Pay attention and come to me; listen, that you may have life.
I don’t, for a minute, think that WORM appreciated the subtlety of Matthew and Luke’s intervention. If WORM was at all aware of the higher power(s) reaching towards him, BOYS were likely judged to be a threat.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways.
WORM was never going to understand the desire of BOYS to save WORM. If we are at all struck by the difference in essence between BOYS and WORM, we need to recognize that there is an even greater difference between us and GOD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways,
my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
Perhaps BOYS, if it was within their power, would have made themselves WORM. If only BOYS had been able to crawl with WORM, they could have taught WORM about BOYS and led WORM to safety. Alas, this option was was only possible for GOD. The BOYS, instead, chose the water solution to express the depth of their love and concern for WORM.
Yet just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth…achieving the end for which I sent it.
Left to himself, WORM would have perished. The heat of the day would eventually put a stop to already-slowed WORM. WORM had no ability to see the danger ahead or to architect his own solution. WORM needed a savior, delivered in the form of BOYS and water and love.
Yes, in joy you shall go forth, in peace you shall be brought home.
We should all be so fortunate. Oh right, we are!
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.