A Life Lesson from Coleoptera Scarabaeidea

One of my favorite cartoonists is Scott Hilborn who publishes “The Argyle Sweater”  comic strip. You have probably noticed some of these popping up in my posts.I came across this one the other day and it reminded me of the story of the dung beetle (order: coleoptera, family: scarabaeidea). Quite fascinating, albeit pretty gross.

The dung beetle it would seem has one purpose in life: to collect dung. When they come upon a pile of dung they begin creating dung balls which they roll away from the pile to keep their property from being plundered by other beetles. They can roll dung balls up to 50 times their weight. Beetles generally work as couples. Usually it is the male that rolls the ball, with the female hitch-hiking or simply following behind. In some cases the male and the female roll together. When a spot with soft soil is found, they stop and bury the dung ball. They will then mate underground. After the mating, both or one of them will prepare the ball as a birthing bed. When the ball is finished, the female lays eggs inside it. When the eggs hatch, they feed on the dung.

So what life lessons are to be learned from these interesting creatures. Here are a few that come to mind:

1) Like the dung beetle, are we fulfilling the purpose that God has created us for – with as much diligence and tenacity?

2) And like the dung beetle, are we investing our lives in the collection of  “dung” – stuff that really isn’t worth a poop.

3) Are we willing to share our “dung piles” with others – the stuff that we have worked so hard for – or do we hide it away for our own enjoyment only?

4) What do we hunger for – dung and more dung? Or do we hunger for the kind of food that will feed our souls?

Paul said this in Philippians 3:8: “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them like dung (literally this is what the Greek says) that I may gain Christ and be found in Him…”

(If interested in how this really works for the dung beetle then check out this You Tube Video)

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