Monday, December 15, 2014

In The Dark

Raise your hand if you own an Elf on the Shelf.

Raise your hand if you own an Elf on the Shelf and have forgotten to move him.

Raise your hand if you own an Elf on the Shelf and a teeny part of you will be happy when no one believes that the Elf is magic so you can go to sleep at night without fretting over said Elf's location.

I have one that knows The Truth, and one that still believes in magic. The Truth-Knower thought that being the magic in our Elf's movement around the house would be fun at first, but the novelty wore off somewhere around night 2, and now we are back to trying to copy over-zealous Pinterest Elf on the Shelf ideas. But the laugh I got this morning from him after seeing our Elf's predicament was worth the few minutes of sleep I lost putting it together.



Last night I had to retrieve the Elf from his hiding spot in the basement.

I've always had issues with basements.

Maybe it's because they are dark. Maybe it's because in scary movies, things happen in the basement. Maybe it's because even as an adult, I happen to possess a very over-active imagination. But when I go down to the basement, I turn on every light in my path. Because the dark is scary. And then, because I have to turn out the main light, bathing the room in black, I run up those steps like somebody is chasing me. (Because in my head, somebody might be.) Except for last night, when I stuck our Elf in the waistband of my pajamas (one still believes he is magic, right, so I can't be caught moving him just yet), and it just so happened that the Elf was facing out, looking down those steps, like a rear guard.

Except that he's a toy, and I thought what a stupid thing it was for me to think about a toy elf sticking out of the back of my pants as a rear guard.

Even when I must walk through the darkest valley, 
I fear no danger, 
for you are with me; 
your rod and your staff reassure me.
{psalm 23:4}

I don't have to walk through a dark valley to fear danger; it lurks behind the couch in my very own basement.

Don't judge. The basement is different from the rest of the house.

Sometimes I don't sleep well at night. (Could be due to that over-active mind that never turns off. Caffeine after noon+ me= terrible mix.) And when I'm lying awake at 2:18 AM, watching the clock and waiting for sleep to come, my mind goes into overdrive. Every single scary, dangerous, alarming worry I've ever had or thought comes back to haunt me in the wee hours of the morning. Fear taunts me and with every thought I become just a little more crazed with worry and anxiety. (I get jealous of the guy sleeping soundly beside me, oblivious to my plight.)

What if the bus wrecks on the way to school, what if my husband is in a car accident, what if someone breaks into the house, what if my kids don't have friends, or they have the wrong friends, or they make bad choices, etc, etc, etc, etc.

It's exhausting. Mentally and emotionally, anyway.

This morning, when I read the verse from Psalm 23, it made me think about having a rear guard a little differently. An Elf on the Shelf toy won't do much to protect me from the dangers of the basement, but when it comes to the very real and present insecurities of fear, worry, and doubt, God is my very real and present rear guard, reassuring me with his presence, his might and his strength.

I guess how you see midnight hours all depends on the perspective from which you take them in.
{priscilla shirer, seed}

Sometimes I view my circumstances from the dark. And then "we sit in the dark, thinking that life will get brighter when circumstances change. We are completely unaware that the glorious beauty of God's plan and purposes are displayed even when...especially when...darkness is on the flip side." {priscilla shirer, seed}

But darkness disappears when you turn toward light. It has to; a lack of light is all that defines dark.

This day I ask you to turn around--to turn your face away from the empty. I ask you to turn to the full, away from the dark and to the blinding light. I pray that God calls your name with such sweetness and authority in the midst of the darkness that you will not be able to help but see His face in your circumstances. A decision to change your perspective, my friend, can change your whole life. {priscilla shirer, seed}

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