“What a hot night!” Jolene mumbled while her children slept.
When the air conditioning is on full blast in a tent, it does not help much, especially in a remote area on the prickly desert floor. Jolene knew this from decades of camping in the desert. In tent terms, that meant all the screened picture windows, doors and skylight were unzipped to the moonlight. Dark outcroppings of bare rock still radiated the heat of the day on a spring night.
Her thighs were glued together with sweat. Late as it had been, Jolene heard her sons softly breathing. While they were catching zzzzzs, she couldn’t sleep. “It’s going to be a loooong night!” Jolene sat up and sighed.
Nearly as bright as sunup with a full moon, the land sparkled like mica. Jolene peered through the screened window, appreciating the quiet sounds of a peaceful night. A very small breeze touched the desert creosote bushes and the mesquite trees.
As Jolene listened and watched, she noticed a score of dark shapes each about the size of a fist crawl to center stage. Looking more closely, she noticed the shapes had legs.
“Wow,” she whispered to herself, tarantula spiders!”
Tuning up like an orchestra before a performance, the creatures began to dance in the moonlight like a troupe of professional folk dance performers! First, to the right, then to the left, spin around, strut and kick, dip and bow! Though Jolene learned later dancing is normal spring courtship behavior for the male spiders, she held to the idea that the tarantulas doing the tarantella as a way to honor their Creator and their women!
In the Bible, Moses reported God’s deeds of creation, “God made the wild animals according to their kinds, livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.” [ Genesis 1:25 NIV]
So the creatures worship God in their way, too. Our Creator gifts us with the command to rest and worship on the Sabbath. Today, that is Sunday. We can be renewed to begin again after rest, worship, and reflection. Just as the tarantulas took time out for fun and fellowship, so should we.
This day and holiday weekend, let’s take time to have fun, worship, as well as to honor the Creator. The payoff is worth it. By the next work week, we may find ourselves dancing with joy just like the tarantulas doing the tarantella.
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]