Monday, September 4, 2017

Angles and Demons

Some days, I really feel the tension between my faith and my fallen world. It doesn't have to be the big things, and it's usually not; it's usually just a bunch of minor irritations, little things that I have to keep working around when, honestly, I'm just trying to do one faithful thing.

And sometimes, I know what that faithful thing is. I'm sure of it. I know that there is the whisper of God in my heart to take a step in this direction, to trust Him with this resource, to risk this potential awkwardness, and then there's this tremendous sense of grace when I just bite the bullet and do it. 

But then, there's something else. Then, something else. Then, something else. Inevitably, I get this voice in my head that screams, God, I just did what You asked me to do. Can't I catch a break? As though, of course, I'm entitled to a life without irritations. 

But some days, they just get thrown off. They just take turns that I'm not expecting. They require things I don't have, suck up time I haven't planned for. I grow increasingly frustrated as time seems to push me further from my own imagination and there's nothing left to dream of, nothing to hope for except that this day would end and that tomorrow might be better.

It's important to note that on days like these, there almost always (if not always) comes a time when, if I just keep pushing through, something so absolutely ordinary and ridiculous will occur that will push me past frustration and into concessive joy. I just can't help but laugh. Because if it weren't so obviously every little thing, it just wouldn't be a day like today. 

The last one of these days I had (over the weekend), it was a bumblebee. One thing after another after another after another until I finally was able to look up and think I might be able to finally breathe for just a second, and there laid a dead baby bumblebee in my kitchen floor. I'm severely allergic to bumblebees. I have two dogs who are going to want to play with the bumblebee. I can't just leave it in the floor; I have to do something about it. That something will require hauling out the vacuum cleaner to make sure a stray stinger doesn't end up somewhere potentially harmful for me. So I opened the closet door, dragged out the vacuum cleaner, sighed, then laughed.

Because on a day like this one, it really is every little thing.

But not every little thing is a test of faith. That's what it's so easy to lose sight of when we run into these kinds of days. We start to think the whole thing is just one big test of faith, but it's not. There may be one test of faith nestled in there somewhere, that thing that has the voice of God whispering in your heart that you need to respond in a specific way. Most of it, though? Not faith-related.

That's why the title for this post is not a typo. It's not angels and demons; it's angels and demons. It's all about how we look at things. We have to be able to see with eyes that know which things are sacred, which things are spiritual, which things are significant, and which things just are. 

On a day like this day, I did the faithful thing. I did one faithful thing, the one thing I truly believed that God was asking me to do. How did I know it was the faithful thing? It required faith. It required that I put my money where my mouth is, trust God, take a step, move. It required that I confess something fundamental about God that I believe...and then live as though I actually do believe that. And at the end of this day, when I ask myself how I did, that's the moment I'm going to look back on as my yardstick. 

Given the chance - the command - to do one faithful thing that I hadn't really planned on having to do today, I did it. I chose faith. At the end of this day, when I pray, I'm going to thank God for the opportunity to do this thing. I'm going to thank Him for blessing it. 

I'm going to thank Him for blessing me.

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