He also wears facial hair and has a beer belly…….
I feel like the minute I crossed back into “home” (northwest Arkansas) from my vacation, there he was sitting in a lawn chair on the side of the road with a wife beater, cut-off jeans shorts, a trucker hat, beard and a few missing teeth. Or that’s how I pictured the devil waiting on me to get home anyway. I figure if I’m gonna have to deal with someone/something I don’t like, and I’m going to go further by writing about it, then he can look however I find him the most entertaining right?
Anyway. He wasted no time knocking at my door saying “let me in so that I can destroy everything you sought, worked for and gained while you were 14 hours away from the reality you had settled into.”
I would send him a Thank you card, but I like to pretend that if he looks like what I described above, then he probably isn’t educated enough to read it. Why would I send the devil a Thank You card you ask? Because if it weren’t for him showing up so quickly, fiercely, and loudly the instant I got home…..I would’ve never truly appreciated and realized what really happened to me while I was gone on vacation.
It’s still not time to release all the beautiful details of every single glorious thing that happened on vacation other than simple transformation. And awareness. An awareness that I have never had before. I’m still just as scattered as I was before not catching on to things sometimes, FORGETTING EVERYTHING, and usually drive through traffic lights and then wonder if they really were green or not because I just don’t pay that much attention anymore (want to ride with me soon huh?). But this awareness I have in life in general cannot be ignored.
I notice so much more. I notice that the business man sitting across from me on the plane right now has a fancy ipad, fancy suit and looks really important, but is playing a sprinkler game on his ipad that looks like something my 3 year old nieces would like. I notice how amazing the sunsets are or how pretty every single human I have seen is…..even if I don’t necessarily like them (by the way, my love for people has even been overwhelming to me…but I truly LOVE people). It’s like my senses have been tweaked and heightened and with that comes an appreciation for life and all that is “it” that I will never be able to put into words.
Along with the good awareness’s, I certainly see the bad ones too……I can almost see them from a mile away now (but maybe that’s just the new glasses). My first reaction “back in the day” (as in two weeks ago) was to attach God in a good way to everything. Oh, that guy seems interested? That MUST BE God sending my mate to me.
Let me clarify really quickly for a sec…..I firmly 100% believe God is in EVERYTHING……he just is. I can’t argue it……and I am not one of the “smart ones” that can give you all kinds of textbook facts about it. Just know that he is.
However, the devil is just as involved. And for so long, I just ignored him….or was unaware of him. But you know what……I’m thankful that I am aware now. That’s progress. Progress that I recognize that God has done a work in me that prepares me to encounter my redneck version of Satan. I’m so aware of him, that I think I even know his trailer park address and could show up to fight him before he came to me on some days.
The difference between then and now is that I choose to meet him at battle differently. Previously I was already knee deep in the mud before I realized “oh, wait, this is the devil working….and now I’m knee deep in mud and he’s gone away laughing (or circling me slinging more mud), I now recognize the mud puddle long before I’m knee deep. I simply stop everything I’m doing and whisper Jesus name. I go to his refuge, admit that I’m human and we both know if I go at this on my own, it’s going to be a mess and I’m probably going to misinterpret this worse than a Spanish speaking person would misinterpret an American road sign. Jesus shows up (I refuse to think of him in a wife beater and mullet), meets me for the conflict, and calms me immediately. That may be all he does in that moment….but anyone who knows me knows that the fact that His act of that calms me and I don’t react the way I might have used to, knows this is PROGRESS.
From there, I just wait (second hardest thing for me to do on the planet) until I feel his guidance to do what’s next. Ok, I don’t ALWAYS wait, sometimes I get impatient and take it on myself. But once again, the A word (awareness in case you’re not following) creeps back in and I stop again. See, that’s the most beautiful thing about awareness. Even though it may seem to come and go, it takes so many shapes and forms that you are always discovering new awareness AND you can always stop when needed and just wait. It’s ok to wait. I type that statement more for me than for you.
I can’t coach anyone on how to tap into that place where the work is done and the awareness surfaces……for me it was a beach shore and utter brokenness that I could no longer fight on my own. But I know it’s there in you. And I know that even if you start with something small, and you find your secret place to have the intimate time with our Father, it will come.
Whether your devil wears Prada, a mullet, or comes in a bottle of vodka….he’s there. But we are armed for the fight (Ephesians 6:10-17 says so). And I almost feel weird at the delight I take in that as I type this. The delight that the devil can be who he wants and come however he wants cause I have something greater.