Silently they gnaw away, happily feeding themselves according to their appetite and desire, while the owner continues life, blissfully unaware of the time-bomb which will inevitably explode. Termites! Tiny little creatures whose prime motivation is not destruction, but to feed themselves - yet the consequence of their presence in a house is devastating - and expensive - for the owner.
Termites can be controlled and eradicated. Architectural and scientific advances over the years have meant a reduction of the damage caused, but not elimination. It is when we are unaware of their presence that their potential for damage is at its greatest.
A different type of termite exists in many family homes today, with the large majority unaware of their presence. These are the seeds of family breakdown: lack of communication, lack of commitment, lack of flexibility, lack of compassion and understanding, inability to handle emotions. Only a few of the termites which destroy family relationships. Yet many families are unaware that there is another way, that things can be different, can be better. And denial only perpetuates and exaggerates the problem - problems which can be most destructive in the extreme.
These termites exist in all families, including God's family. Only as we take responsibility for them - admitting their existence - can we begin the task of removing them and building better family life and a better church and local community. It is a task for which we must be eternally vigilant, and lovingly diligent.
November 6, 1994