A few weeks ago a large brown spider
stood militantly still on my dinning room floor. While I’ve been known to capture arachnids and re
lease them outdoors to hunt what I consider the greater evil…mosquitoes…I felt threatened by this formidable
looking bug and took action.
Certain that she was a Brown Recluse; I shakily summoned the professor to squash the Charlotte-Wanna-Be and take her to the university’s etymology lab to confirm my suspicion.
Turns out that I am well-versed in paranoia, but my skills in the arena of insect identification are lacking. The spider found in my home was a non-poisonous common house spider. After being assured that I’d probably have a greater chance of being struck by lightning than I would being attacked by a Brown Recluse in my own home, I let down my guard.
A few days later, I found a smaller spider crawling into my purse. I took pity on the little fellow and used a business card to redirect him outdoors. Mistaking my generosity for malice, the spider prepared for attack. He raised four of his legs upward and bared his fangs. It made no matter that he had little chance of defeating his perceived nemesis, his instinct told him to fight. Fortunately, for both of us, he didn’t get the chance and quickly adapted to life on my rosebush.
There are times when I am like that spider. If I feel threatened, I react. Sometimes, this is a good thing. I’ve learned to trust my gut instinct where matters of life or limb are concerned. I truly believe that these instincts are a gift given by our creator. If I’m walking to my car alone during the night, my pace is brisk, my keys are in position to stab, and I mentally review tactics of self-defense. I’m not a big gal, but I assure you, there’s fight in me.
However, there are also unwarranted times when my defensive instincts kick in. Instincts that have been collected by life experiences. Typically, I have two defense mechanisms that thrust into action when I feel like I have been or will be attacked. Ironically, the two are at opposite ends of the verbal combat zones. I either launch into a sarcastic tirade or cower.
It’s almost comical that the very same emotions that can trigger me to remark snidely to someone who has made an honest mistake, can also lead me to apologize for simply being.
As I strive to become more like Christ, I realize that neither of those reactions are a part of his character. Yes, I do think Christ had a bit of a sarcastic streak he used for rebuke, but it was different than what comes from my lips. And, my savior was certainly not a wimp when he walked the ancient dusty roads of the Middle East. He knew his rightful place in his Father’s kingdom.
In a gray shaded world, there exist many choices of response. I’m learning that remembering my place in my father’s kingdom, which was a gift of grace, enables me to release my grip on defensive strategies. Instead, I want to react as how God desires for me to react…that regardless the situation I will conduct myself as the daughter of a magnificent King and not as a frightened house spider.
Turn your ear and hear the words of the wise, and open your mind to what they teach. For it will be pleasing if you keep them in your heart, so they may be ready on your lips. I have taught you today, even you, so that your trust may be in the Lord. (Proverbs 22:17-19 NLV)