Thursday, November 11, 2010

This Old Ratty Shirt

If you ever stop by to read here, you might guess that I learn best, and get the most excited about, metaphors. There is never a perfect metaphor for a life in Christ, but once in a while I hear or come across one that makes so much sense for a particular situation - this brings me joy! That happened to me today. And I can't stop thinking about it.(And thank you for continuing to come back after some darker posts!)

I was doing homework for Freedom for Life at lunchtime today, and one of the questions stood out to me. So much that I couldn't just breeze through it, though I was quite certain what my answer was.
Which areas of pain are you medicating?
My flippant answer was 'the part that says I am no good...' that's where I hesitated. The area in my life that causes pain that needs to me medicated in the first place begins with a voice. It's external. It's not part of me. I allow it to touch me, it gets to me, it invites me to make poor decisions... but it's a voice. A voice I can choose to listen to, or not.

It's like a shirt. A ratty old shirt that used to look OK but now looks awful, you know you shouldn't wear it because you'll look terrible, but you choose to anyway because it's just so dang familiar. It's that item of clothing that rarely gets laundered, because you are always wearing it. And then you get so comfortable in the terrible shirt that you wear it out of the house, first just to pick up the kids and a quick trip to the grocery store, but then you wear it once on a casual Friday to work. And no one said anything, so you wear it again the next week. And more and more frequently until you are wearing it all the time. And it doesn't even seem ratty, to you.

And then you're wearing it and something is itching you in the neckline until you can hardly stand it. So you scratch and scratch and scratch it raw. And people see it and ask what's wrong and do you need help? But when you insist you are fine they shrug and go about their day. Your spouse sees that the shirt might be a problem but every time they broach the subject you get angry. So they stop trying to help.

Then you are crossing the street and get hit by a car, not too bad, but the cut on your shoulder is enough to go to the Emergency Room. The kind nurse asks you to remove your shirt so they can treat you and you adamantly refuse! You always wear the shirt, it's become part of you and they will just have to fix you up around the shirt! And then somewhere in the argument, you realize that you can just take the shirt off and throw it away! You can live without it, and it does not define you. So you go home with a bandage in the right place and allow the wound to heal.

Anyway... I'm sure you get the picture. The part of me that says it's no good isn't really a part of me at all. It's something I can choose to put on or take off. I can walk in it and be miserable, or I can ask Jesus to come speak Truth. I've always just thought it was part of who I am, that's a lie, it doesn't have to define me. It's like that ratty old shirt that I can start each day with: to wear or not wear? Walk in Truth or darkness?

1 comment:

  1. I am right on - with you... so many things to shed to be able to shine my light brighter for my Lord Jesus!