The Elusive Ball Crab

0 comments Posted on June 26, 2013

SummerReadinglogo2013Ava Pennington“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy,

which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world

rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

We approached stealthily…well, as stealthily as one could approach while treading sand.

“Don’t scare it away!” We hushed each other as we crept toward the crab.

My husband and I had moved to Florida several years earlier. Close friends were visiting from our former home in New York City. We had spent the afternoon strolling along the beach—a required activity when hosting northern visitors.

The crabs were the most fun to watch. Ghost crabs burrowed into the wet sand, then re-buried themselves each time the receding surf exposed their hiding places. Every so often we’d spot one from a distance, but by the time we reached it, the crab rested safely in its hole. Sometimes a crab remained above ground, but would curl up into what appeared to be a ball, drawing its legs under its body for protection.

“Is it alive?” A gentle wave washed over the crab and receded. We crept closer, hoping for a picture. The crab’s legs appeared to be curled under its body, and its partially exposed, curved shell—no bigger than a child’s fist—protruded from the sand.

We inched up to it until we stood just a few feet away, but it didn’t move. Probably an empty shell, the remains of a gull’s lunch. Just in case it was still alive, I knelt and reached out toward the crab…only to discover I had picked up half of a faded, rubber Spalding ball.

We laughed at how easily we were fooled into seeing what we wanted to see. Yet, how many times have I pursued people and experiences because I wanted them to be good or exciting, only to be disappointed? How often have I believed the world’s lies, even though God’s Word warned me not to be beguiled? Perhaps next time I’ll remember the lesson of the elusive ball crab.

Do You Love Me More

Ava Pennington is a writer, Bible teacher, and speaker. Her newest book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is endorsed by Precepts founder Kay Arthur and will be released by Revell Books October, 2013. Ava is also co-author of Faith Basics for Kids. The first two books in the series are Do You Love Me More? and Will I See You Today? (Standard Pub.). Visit her at


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