Photo by Mikhail Vasilyev on Unsplash

Opinion | Faith & Inspiration

By Charles Towne 

It has been several years since I went camping in Florida’s Ocala Forest one dark night, and pitched my tent on top of a fire ant’s nest. Fire ants are such endearing little critters.

I must say that it was with great motivation and enthusiasm that I fought my way out of my sleeping bag to do a wild dance, slapping at myself in the light of the campfire to get rid of the wee beasties. I am sure that if anybody had seen me that night they would have concluded that there was a madman on the loose. I am also sure it was quite entertaining, at least from a spectator’s point of view, to behold a naked dude dancing and cavorting in the light of the campfire.

Joe and his brother were hiking on the Appalachian Trail when night overtook them. Clearing a small area of rocks and debris, they made camp, threw down their bedrolls, and retired. During the night they awoke to realize there was something wiggling and squirming on the floor of the tent. They also had pitched their tent on a nest, but not a nest of fire ants. Oh no, it was a nest of newly hatched copperhead snakes.

It was again with great motivation and enthusiasm that the two brothers abandoned the tent. Not only that, but they left the snakes in possession of their gear, hiked to the next trailhead, and called their adventure enough.

Motivation and enthusiasm are good, they can drive you and give you the inspiration to do what you could never do without them. We have all met people that seemed to have the edge. They tackle life with an alacrity and joy that makes them a pleasure to be around.  Being forced to run away from a raging, saber toothed brandlesnoot might motivate you, but wouldn’t it be better to live your life in such a way that, without threat or danger, you not only possess motivation and enthusiasm in your own life but you inspire it in others as well?

May the Son warm your heart,
Light your day,
Heal your pain,
And bring you joy.

My daily prayer: 

“Dear God, I thank you for blessing me with enthusiasm for life and a motivation to bless others. I want to please you oh Holy Father. Help me to be what you want me to be. Lord, help me to be a joy to others. Help me to inspire and give hope to all I meet. I thank you Father, and I love you. In Jesus’ wonderful name I ask it, Amen.”

Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.


  1. Great story, Chuck…and laced with excitement, as usual!
    Thank you for the visual humor first thing in the morning. What an interesting thought to ponder when you said how much better it would be to live our lives in such a way that we inspire and motivate without fear and threat. I like that! I am going to add that to my prayer, that God will make my life motivating and inspiring to others, so He gets glory and honor.
    God bless you, Chuck!

    • Ahhh, Dear CSG, i will never forget my dear Nancy’s immersion into the social life of a fire ant colony. Nan decided to sun bathe in our back yard, and much to her dismay, soon discovered that she had spread out her blanket on a fire ants nest. Agony does not describe her experience adequately! Over a hundred fire ant bites and three days in the hospital. Bless you dear friend.

  2. By the way, I have never heard of a “sabre-toothed brandlesnoot”, let alone see one. But, I’m sure your life has been filled with, and will continue to be filled with these amazingly, interesting creatures, who inspire and motivate you into the next story. Thanks for the humor! I enjoy it!


  3. We both really appreciate this article….for some of us, fire ants are an arch enemy, a nemesis, something to be avoided at all costs! This article definitely made us BOTH smile. If I remember correctly, didn’t you and my significant other discuss your shared aversion for fire ants?:)

  4. Yes NH, nemesis is a good name for the wee beasties! Aren’t we glad they are no bigger than they are? Imagine if fire ants were as big as pit bulls!! On second thought, don’t imagine they are as big as pit bull! Chaz

  5. My only personal experience with fire ants was at my dads house in Florida! I was standing there minding my own business when all of a sudden a dozen or so of those little devils decided my Sandled foot would be a nice place to attack! My fearless father leaped to my rescue, brushing said devils off with his hand….which I truly appreciated but I felt the pain for more than a month! Makes me glad I live in a state where the skeeters are pretty much the most ferocious bug around! Love the post! Keep em comin!!!

  6. Faith, if you were to look closely at the fire ants you would notice that the first one to charge up your leg was carrying a little red flag. When that cute little rascal reached a certain place on your leg he would look back at the other fire ants and when he determined that they were ready he would raise the flag and swiftly lower it; at this signsl all the other fire ants would bite! Yes, clever little guys they are! The take away for this is don’t stand in a fire ants nest! Bless you and yours, Chaz

  7. Well, well, using fire ants to excuse your penchant for dancing naked! One can only fervently hope there are no fire ants within the city limits!!! I too celebrate what I usually call, ” life’s little cheerleaders! ” That fresh enthusiasm inspires me! Recently, someone sent me this thought, There are two types of people, those that wake up and say Good morning Papa God! and those that wake up and say, Good God, it’s morning! I prefer the former!

  8. Richard my friend,I woke at about 2:oo A.M telling Papa God how much I love Him! To my way of thinking He is my best friend. Saying that just inspires me to share Him. What a miracle that He can inspire love in His kids even as they sleep!!!! O what a friend we have in Jesus!!! BLESS YOU MY FRIEND, BLESS YOU AND GIVE YOU GREAT JOY!!! Chaz


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