Our house has been overtaken by moths. A hatch of them has erupted, giving space to more hatches, and now they are beyond count. They are tiny things. Bothersome things. Things that want to land in my coffee and have a sip before my lips even touch the cup. Something must be done. Something will be done.
In the meantime, I have begun to think of them as miniature birds. Little birds are wheeling around my living room, and calling them that in my mind has elevated their existence from being irritating creatures to little wonders that fly.
Re-naming them, thinking of them differently, changing my perspective about them has changed how I feel about them. And my feelings changing about them has changed how I experience them. One has just landed on my computer – delicate little thing.
Being an intelligent reader, I bet you can see where I’m going before I even make the leap.
Our thoughts matter. They play out in our lives. What we name situations, people, our lives, even ourselves has a dramatic effect on how we experience them. Am I blowing it as a woman who has let her house fall to the captivity of a multitude of moths, or am I a wise woman who is living with the effects of a fallen world and not allowing the current situation to rattle her? Perhaps I have a foot in both descriptions – it depends on when you ask, but I know which one I want to lean in to.
On any given day, who are we? What are our lives? Good or bad? Blessed or cursed? There is much power in what we name them. And who gets to decide what we do?
Magazine covers? Wall Street? The person who honked at us yesterday when we made a small, thoughtless error? The teacher handing out the grades? The boss handing out the promotions? Or the God of the Universe?
The tricky part is that we haven’t arrived yet to inhabit all that is most deeply true about ourselves. We live in the in-between, the already and the not yet. The scriptures tell us we are now seated in the heavenlies with Christ Jesus, and it is true. But we still walk and navigate this world with clay feet. We are. And we are becoming. And in this tightrope experience, what balancing rod do we hold on to?
Our failures or our future glory? What the bullies named us or what our Father names us now? Are we a disappointment or the very crown of creation?
Dear one, beloved of God, our Father has named us good. Our Jesus has declared the work finished. Our God who sees the end from the beginning is not disappointed, nor is He surprised. He doesn’t regret His choice to rescue us, nor resent the cost He paid to do it. Our work now is to believe Him, to marinate our hearts and minds in the truth of the Gospel, to agree with God and to let it change the way we feel – to let our experiences be based on the deepest reality of the Universe. We are children of the Living God. Holy and cherished in His sight.
We are not an irritation to be dealt with. We are a beautiful creation being carved with loving intention. And we can be defiantly joyful because of that.