God, the Ants, and Me

This section is to honor the works of Russ Lancaster who started the “I Remember Hamlet” web site years ago. Without his pioneering the web at that time we might not have gathered all these memories of our Hamlet, NC. We thank you Russ for what you started in 1996, may you Rest in Peace. Russ was kind enough to let me download his web site before he took it down. Thank you Russ.

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David
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God, the Ants, and Me

Postby David » Sun July 1, 2018, 4:07 pm

God, the Ants, and Me
Washington Avenue, early 1950's
by: Russ Lancaster



"Nothin', Mama", I shouted in answer to her question, "Whatcha doin' out there?"

It was sometime in the summer and we were living in the old Vicker's house next door to Chief Hicks on the top side of Washington Avenue. I was about 12 years old and was busy doing what most kids did back then, having fun and minding my own business.

However, I was up to something all right. I had found an anthill and was busy seeing what I could do to stir them up. I had an old butter knife and was sliding it just beneath the surface of the sand near the anthill and watching the cracked lines appear in the hard packed dirt. It looked like a miniature earthquake to me. The ants were my imaginary people and I watched them scurry about as the "earthquake" lines crept ever closer to their tiny little village.

I soon became bored with that and decided their village would be besieged by fire. I sneaked back in the house and grabbed a can of lighter fluid and squirted a little in a circle around the perimeter of their tiny town. A bright flash from a kitchen match out of my shirt pocket quickly surrounded them with a blazing inferno. Some of the braver ants lost their lives but most went back deep inside their hill and survived the second disaster of the day.

Finally, I took a cup of water and put the fire out. That caused a flood. The water crept past the flames and as they were doused, a river formed in the cracks caused be the earthquake a few minutes before. Water began breaking over the levee of the hill opening and pouring down into their little ant village.

Ants turned out to be pretty smart. Most survived all three tragedies. They were stirred up for awhile but within 30 minutes or less, all was well again in their world.

Now, you might wonder, why in the world would I share such a childhood memory with you. The answer is not so hard.

You see, in a way, I was playing God to those ants. I was a regular at Sunday School and Church each week and thought I knew a lot about God. In my child's mind, God saw us much as I saw those ants. I soon learned different as I grew older but it never hit me like it did yesterday as Hurricane Wilma passed us by.

I was thinking, Why does God allow hurricanes to happen, or does he? Is it punishment for the wicked as some would have us believe like my sister-in-law? Does he just allow them to happen despite our prayers? Or, is it something much bigger than we can fathom?

I think I got my answer yesterday. You see, soon after the hurricane passed, a cold front came through. Now, we really needed that cold front. We spent a long, hot, humid summer here in Central Florida. We went 59 consecutive days with high temperatures surpassing 90 degrees or more. We had not seen the temperature at night drop one degree below 70 since June 1st. We were in need of relief.

As the hurricane passed and the cold front came by, we saw the sun shining once again but the wind was now kicking up from the North. Temperatures dropped steadily all day and it was in the mid 50's by early evening. We finally hit a record low of 43 degrees last night and are expected to only reach the mid 60's for a high today under bright sunny skies.

Then I realized that God created the Earth and all its wonders. The Earth must cleanse itself in order for man to survive. When He created it, did He create the mechanisms that would cleanse it from time to time; let it rid itself of the old in order to become new again?

YES! I believe He did exactly that. He may not have told a hurricane to follow an exact path (maybe that's why they are so unpredictable), but He must have created hurricanes before man. What we may consider disasters are likely to be results of what He considered a necessity for the earth to survive. I will never know for sure if my theory is correct until I reach the gates of Heaven. I am told there I will gain great knowledge of things I never considered. That is where the answer to every question lives.

So, next time a hurricane threatens us here in Florida, I will still pray for protection. But, I will also understand that God also created me with an intelligence and free will. He also gave us the knowledge to know at least a week in advance of certain disasters that may come our way, like hurricanes. It is then up to us to use the intelligence He gave us to get out of harm's way and let Nature take care of things we are too dumb to do ourselves.

I thank God for creating a way to cleanse the earth that he created. I thank him for letting me see some 50 years after the fact that the ants on Washington Avenue had a story for me to learn and that God gave me the ability to finally see part of His plan that I had never considered.

No, I didn't play God those many years ago with those ants. I played as a little boy would play. I am now a grown man in stature and mind but still keep the little boy inside of me alive so that I can remember and thank God that I can still say.....

I Remember Hamlet

freddie hassler
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Re: God, the Ants, and Me

Postby freddie hassler » Thu July 12, 2018, 1:13 am

Don't Mess with those Big Headed Red Ants,When they bite it hurts


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