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Wasp Trap

Wasp trap at our cabin.

What does it profit a person if they gain the whole world but lose their soul. Jesus

We put a couple of wasp traps up at our summer cabin. They are very simple affairs; simply an amber plastic bottle with a several large exterior holes that lead to narrow interior openings. The bait is a sweet liquid. In our case, a few ounces of Coke. Attracted by the Coke the wasps enter through the inviting entrance, but once inside they cannot escape.

Jesus once asked , What does it profit a person if they gain the whole world but lose their soul. It is easy to be attracted by the sweet Siren call of the culture around us. Advertisers offer us success, popularity, and even fulfilled by driving the right car, wearing the right clothes or fragrance, but these things are only illusions. They don’t feed the soul or fulfill our deepest need.

Columnist and political commentator David Brooks wrote that there are two virtues in life; resume and eulogy. Resume virtues are essentially the values, positions, and honors of this world bestows upon us; educational degrees, job title, and so forth. They are largely fleeting. Eulogy virtues, on the other hand, are those things that we are not only remembered for but treasured. Were you kind, loving, comfortable to be around. Did you make a lasting impression on others or made this world a better place?

When the wasps enter the amber tube driven by the sweet smell of Coke, they do not realize that they are entering an inescapable trap. When we chase the accolades of this and judge our success or worth by their acquisition , we enter a trap not unlike the wasps. As the letter to the Romans reminds us, “do not to be confirmed to the values and ways of the world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.” (Romans 12:2)

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