Bug Squashing

A teacher who kept a 40 mm shell on his desk as a paperweight blew off part of his hand when he apparently used the object to try to squash a bug, authorities say.

The 5-inch-long shell exploded Monday while Robert Colla was teaching 20 to 25 students at an adult education class.

Part of Colla’s right hand was severed and he suffered severe burns and minor shrapnel wounds to his forearms and torso, fire Capt. Tom Weinell said. No one else was injured. He was reported in stable condition at a hospital.

The teacher slammed the shell down in an attempt to kill something that was buzzing or crawling across the desk, said Fire Marshal Glen Albright.

Colla found the 40 mm round while hunting years ago and “obviously he didn’t think the round was live,” said Dennis Huston, who teaches computer design alongside Colla.,2933,190582,00.html

That certainly puts “adult education” in a whole new light, doesn’t it? I reckon you gotta figure (personal injury and such notwithstanding) Mr. Colla was successful in at least one respect. He surely (and permanently) squashedthat bug!

Bug squashing. As popular a pastime as there’s ever been. And, to be fair, forever to be unknown numbers of bugs have rightly earned the squashing that brought them to their premature demise. Some of them are poisonous. Some carry disease. Some bite or sting. Some leave a bad smell. They crawl around in our homes. They crawl around in our food supply. They crawl around on our pets. They crawl around on us. The very presence of bugs so ails, annoys, aggravates, angers, and alarms us at times, we go to great lengths to remove them; if not from the face of the earth, then certainly from the vicinity of our immediate company.

And then there are the seemingly ever-present, ever dreaded, two-legged “bugs”, alternatively known as family, friends, and brethren. Some do nothing but irritate, while some step it up a notch by agitating. Figuratively speaking, some bite and/or sting; others spread their own particular brand of disease and/or venom; and sadly, a few are purely poisonous. These folks often earn the ire of others and deservedly find themselves on the wrong end of a squashing.

Have you ever dealt with someone whose actions ranged from merely bothersome to the potential poisoning of the general good?  If so, then what did you use to squash that particular “bug”?

With some, when it comes time for them to begin squashing, it’s with a “5 inch, 40mm shell”, or nothing at all. Oh, the troublesome “bug” is squashed all right enough, but not unlike the aforementioned (adult education teacher) Mr Colla, they end up hurting themselves as well. But very much unlike Mr Colla, the self-inflicted injury is not physical. It’s considerably more severe. The damage is to their character, reputation, and possibly to their very soul.

Gentleness is one of those virtues many seem to have trouble getting a good hold on. Men (and women) commonly misinterpret it as being synonymous with weak, cowardly, or just a tad bit too delicate. I’ve read that, “Gentleness is strength under control.”  I think we’d be hard-pressed to come up with words to give us a better understanding than those.

 “By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you…” (2 Corinthians 10:1a NIV)

Jesus was our perfect example of “strength under control”. As events in His life called for the occasionalsquashing of a “bug”, Jesus responded in such a way, that while decisive, was never divisive, and never incurred more damage than was necessary to remedy the situation at hand. And, just as importantly, His own integrity was left unblemished and fully intact.

It’s an irrefutable truth that God expects us to deal with those who would trouble the church. To that end, it’s needful to realize that while some two legged “bugs” are annoying, they’re not particularly harmful and offer nothing to cause fear or alarm. And while some situations call for action, not every “bug” is worth the time and energy it takes to squash. Left alone, they’ll generally crawl off on their own. Our energy and efforts can and should be better spent elsewhere. Take the time to learn the difference and the next time you’re about to deal with one of those “bugs” of the two-legged variety, slow down for a minute and take a look in your hand. Make sure the “squasher” you’re about to use is the right one for the occasion. Keep the damage minimal—to others and to yourself.  Learn to be like your Lord as you learn to be gentle.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29 NASB)