Poems of Faith

The Gnat’s Challenge

Gnorman the Gnat was born in a swarm
On a sultry summer’s day.
His parents said, “My, what a tiny young thing!”
Which, for gnats, was not normal to say.
But, dwarfish or huge, Mom and Dad didn’t care
And rocked Gnorman to sleep in the hay.

Next morning, young Gnorman awoke before dawn.
He opened his tiny mouth wide
And surprised all the gnats fast asleep in their beds
With three small words. “I’ll grow up,” he cried.
His parents said, “My, what a forward young thing!”
And they beamed at his person with pride.

Short Gnorman grew older, and soon came to see
That most gnats thought his smallness was bad.
So he ordered some weights and began to work out
Every evening along with his dad.
He grew limber and bulged with diminutive muscles
No gnat in gnat history had.

The swarm was impressed. His friends pointed him out
To all visitors, fruit flies, and fleas.
But mere muscles could never quite quench his desire
To grow bigger than inchworms or bees.
So, despairing, he sought the advice of a friend.
“Help me grow, Mr. Owl, will you please?”

The owl blinked an eye. “You must strengthen your brain.
Exercise both your arms and your head.”
Gnorman jumped to his feet and ran home to his books
And his weights. “Yes, I will grow,” he said.
He devoured the tomes in the Insect Archives.
Ne’er a gnat had a mind more well-fed.

One day, Gnorman was working and thinking outside
And he lifted his eyes to the sky.
There he saw a great eagle soar high on the wind,
And his tiny heart gave a small sigh.
“How I wish I could grow up to be a great bird.”
And a tiny tear rolled from his eye.

Loud thunder crashed suddenly, shaking the earth,
And a Voice was heard ringing and clear:
“Your brain and your body are ready for Me,
But your heart is the prize I hold dear.”
“W-Will you help?” Gnorman whispered. “I’ll work on my heart.”
His lips and knees quivered with fear.

“I am with you,” the Voice said, and faded away.
Gnorman felt waves of happiness come.
And his heart was so large and so new and so loud
That it beat with the boom of a drum.
The sound of it caused many gnats to draw near.
Tiny Gnorman began a grand hum.

As the humming swelled out, the whole swarm gasped aloud.
Gnorman’s body and brain started growing,
And he grew and he grew until not one gnat knew
Where the body of Gnorman was going.
Pretty soon, all the normal gnat parts were all gone
And some feathers were all that were showing.

A large head, two strong wings, and some talons appeared.
“It’s an airplane!” one gnat cried. “A bird!”
“I’m an eagle, an eagle! At last I have grown!”
And those shouts were the last that were heard
Above all of the clapping and roaring and laughing.
How deeply the gnats’ hearts were stirred.

Many times, late at night, as the gnats gather ‘round
To tell stories and sing in the hay,
Grandma Gnat tells the tale of small Gnorman who grew
On that great, unforgettable day,
From a gnat to an eagle of very large size.
Or so all the older folk say.

The Gnat’s Challenge PDF