Monday, December 24, 2012

Monsters in the Bathtub

 A few weeks back, I encountered a massive spider in my shower. This monster was big enough to look me in the eye at my first, frozen frightened gawk when I discovered him – disrobed, water warmed up, about to dunk my head underneath the steaming stream.
After that split-second, arrested moment, adrenaline kicked in and I booked it from the shower. In my reserved way of exclaiming any emotion, I say, “Oh, oh. That’s a big one,” as I search for means to remedy my dilemma. I have few tools at my disposal because I’m in the bathroom ready to take a shower!
Thankfully, my Daniel knows me well enough to recognize the alarm in my tone and came to the rescue. My apologies to all the creatures-large-and-small-creepy-or-crawly advocates out there, but my personal monster met his end drowning in a watery grave down the drain.
For days after, I diligently searched the entire tub/shower area before starting the water each morning… just in case another monster showed up or in case the one I saw pulled a Freddie or Jason on me. It could have been a fluke, but better safe than sorry, right? I kept a weather eye out.
Time passed.
Every day, I get less and less vigilant. Until I’m usually half way through my shower before I remember that I should have checked for monsters first.
Evil is like that spider. It lurks, hides, surprises, frightens, and harms. It’s there whether we see it or not. It shows its face without warning, usually after we’ve had time to sink back into a comfort zone of false security. It can strike us personally or in our community, leaving us reeling and wondering where it came from.
We employ a few resources to prevent or vanquish this evil when it pops up, or in the days after when our vigilance remains on guard – methods of control that seem to work but are actually mere Band-Aids for fatal wounds.
What makes us think that we, mortal sons and daughters of Adam, have any authority over the cosmic force of evil?
The only solution to evil is holiness.
The only road to holiness is relationship with The Holy One, the only sinless, omniscient, eternal God. Through the Good News of the Gospel, the account of all that Jesus has done for us, we are miraculously and mercifully placed on that road to holiness. Not because of anything we can do for ourselves but because of the Gift of God. The gift He gave us for Christmas on the first Christmas a little over 2000 years ago.
The road of holiness is not void of obstacles or enemy combatants. We are pursued even more because our enemy, and we do have an enemy – an insanely determined and vicious one in fact – will do anything to get us off this road, to keep us from reaching the Holy City and eternal life with our King of Kings. For this reason, vigilance is essential. And we are not left defenseless. The Holy One has given us tools, armor and weapons, and the best of all – His Presence. He’s got our backs. If we let Him.
I urge you to allow the message of Christmas and all that it entails and promises into your hearts this Season. If you have allowed that message to transform your hearts, take the time to rejoice in it as you celebrate the incredible moment God’s Gift stepped foot on Earth.
Merry Christmas, Dry Ground friends!