Termites and other pests.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, so that the outside may become clean as well.” Matthew 25-25 Berean Bible
“Life’s Messy–clean it up!” Vacuum cleaner slogan
“Have you gained weight over the holidays?” I was asked.
“No. I only look that way next to “small” people,” I replied. Ouch! My cup and dish are very dirty!
I did not reply, actually. I wanted to. I strained to be silent. I wanted to give them a one-two punch! But I said nothing, at first, then changed the subject. I knew where that question was coming from and where it was headed. I was eating it up with a spoon.
At home I caressed that question in my mind. Berated myself with that question. Hurt myself with that question. Did I gain weight? Is that why I’m so defensive? Why am I internalizing something so insignificant? Does it matter if I go to heaven today? So much for my spiritual growth. Surprise! I’m not as spiritual as I think.
Many times in our spiritual journey, we’re cruising along, we’re so grateful and at peace. Then…Bam! Some small slight, some rude person, a questionable comment out-of-nowhere derails us. The loving thing to do or say eludes us and our ego is set to fight back. Now who has a problem? Who is the one that needs change? To my deep embarrassment, it’s me. I’m messy. God, please clean me up. Grace is the scrub brush, though very gentle and forgiving.
Sometimes it’s not the big things, tragedies or major decisions that derail our walk with our Father. It’s those little “termites” of life that eat at us that are said to us by people who are just as unaware or unconscious as we are. Sigh… “We do not war against flesh and blood.” “You who are spiritual restore such a one… in a spirit of meekness.” “A soft answer turns away wrath.” No. I don’t think I’ve gained weight. Are you concerned about my health? How are you? Those “termites” are opportunities for growth for me and for the other. Let’s face it, most of life is dealing with the termites. Spring cleaning is in order.
Thank you that we can take everything to you, especially those daily encounters that mess up our soul and our ego. They derail us from the real goal. Help us to see with your eyes and to respond in your way. The ego always cries out in pain! And nurtures the pain until we can’t see you. Help us to see and celebrate those little annoyances are opportunities from you to grow and to love.