The Parable of the Mosquito Racquet

Recently, my family has acquired a new household appliance. This amazing battery-operated device looks like a child’s tennis racquet, but has the power to electrocute insects at the touch of a button. You simply wave it at a flying bug while pressing the button on the handle, and when the insect touches the metal wires: “zappp!”. Sometimes there’s even a small spark.

Within one week, I found myself killing more mosquitoes than I usually catch in a whole year. I loved how effective this thing was: No more feeling like my hands are hopelessly slow, no more feeling powerless against that mosquito attacking me under the table! My other family members must have felt equally empowered by this tool, because I soon discovered a racquet number #2 in the house.

And then, the other day, something interesting happened.

A mosquito, still full and heavy from its meal, was buzzing around slowly right in front of me – but I didn’t kill it. Instead, I ran off to get the racquet. By the time I returned, I couldn’t find it anymore; I waited, racquet ready in hand, but it never reappeared. I walked around the whole room swatting every nook and cranny… but it had already gone.

What had been a simple ‘golden opportunity’ right in front of me slipped away when I forgot that the aim was to “kill the mosquito”, not “use the racquet”.

That day, I saw how wanting to use a good tool can actually become limiting, when I miss the heart of the task.

Elsewhere in my life I see this happening too: like when I forgo the chance to share the gospel with someone because, in that opportune moment, I just don’t have my ‘tool’ with me – no “4 Spiritual Laws” or “Discovering God in Chinese Characters” tract; no pen and paper to draw the “Bridge of Life” diagram. In that moment, I forget that all I really need is probably my mouth, my heart, and the Holy Spirit. My help-lines become stumbling-blocks when I’m hampered by their absence.

Thankfully, God’s given us a powerful help-line that will never be absent. With the Holy Spirit continually with us, in us, we have what we need to live out the Great Commandment and carry out the Great Commission. Spiritual tools – in the form of written resources, or church programmes and structures – are great helps, but in their absence, I can rely on my Helper in every situation.

There is much work to be done. May we stay close to the heart of our task, and the heart of our Father, in the journey to become more equipped.

Hannah Lois Ng loves to read and contributes to COOS LIFE on a regular basis. She has a heart for youth


Hannah Lois Ng loves to read and contributes to COOS LIFE on a regular basis. She has a heart for youth

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