March Spare Change
The Armor of God: A Short Story
“It’s ESPN Radio, live at the Progressive Insurance Studios back with Mike and…” Click.
My eyes open as I turn off the alarm. It’s 6 a.m., the time I have been trying to get accustomed to lately. I used to get up this early, or earlier, but with the new baby sleep is something that is so precious. Recently I’ve been rolling out of bed as late as possible, but this has been murder on my devotional life. So here I am, committed to getting up early and spending time with the Lord.
As I arise and put on my glasses I notice the little demon trying to hand me my phone. It’s a little one, like a miniature person just sitting there on my nightstand, cold and grey. He reminds me of the Orcs in the Lord of the Rings movies, but without the menacing face. His face has more of a sad, perpetually downtrodden look. He wants me to check in on Facebook or check my email, I push him away. I am once again committed to no media until after I have my time with the Lord.
As I walk downstairs another small demon tries to hand me the remote. He wants me to check the scores of last night’s games, harmless right? Wrong. I push him away. I notice that a horde of grey demons, all various sizes and shapes, are sitting on my Bible. They pile up, trying to hide it from me. They try to put all their weight down on it so I can’t pick it up. This morning I easily reach under the pile and grab my Bible out.
I flip over to Colossians 3. I have been reading this passage since last Sunday. It was mentioned by my pastor and it really struck me as something I need to focus on. I read the same words I read yesterday, but with renewed vigor. I want to live every day in this new way that only Christ offers. I want to put to death the sin in my heart. I begin to pray that God would help me put on the new nature today, that will help me to know Him better, and become more like Him.
After this I begin to pray. I pray for my family, my church, situations I know about, relationships that need work, etc. As I pray I begin to get ready.
I know that I will not be able to stand today in my own power, so I must gear up for the day. I put on the Belt of God’s Truth that holds the whole thing together. I put on the Body Armor of Righteousness, which is Christ’s righteousness imparted to me. I lace up the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace, these will give me a foundation and direction for my day. I also put on the Helmet of Salvation to protect and renew my mind.
I then grab one of my weapons, the Shield of Faith. This is a faith that started out very small but has grown. The shield is bigger now, it was
heavier at first but has grown lighter, despite being bigger. Faith is now easier as I remember the faithfulness of God. The shield is rooted deep in my soul. God has made it an unstoppable force in my life that protects me from all the attacks of the devil. The only time I get hurt is when I sit it down. I try to never put it down these days.
Finally, I grab my sword, that is God’s Word; I feel the soft leather, the worn and marked pages. The handle is grasped firmly by my hand. The blade shines and flashes in the pale morning light. It is almost as if this sword is alive; it has a heartbeat that beats with mine. I don’t dare sheath the sword, I keep it out and ready throughout the day. In the past I have sheathed it or put it down to rest only to be immediately attacked. Then to pick it up again is a burdensome thing, the guilt of my heart and mind makes it heavy. Today it is light and sharp.
I finish getting ready, dressing myself in my work clothes. I eat my breakfast, kiss my wife and kids and I am off. I step out into the surprisingly warm weather. The sun is shining on my face. I look around and see a woman running. My glance begins to linger, but before it turns into a
problem I immediately recognize the demon on my shoulders, holding my head, trying to force me to look. Fortunately, I am well armed.
One slice of my sword and the thought of that lady is gone.
Another full-sized demon is lurking around the corner on the front lawn, he fires arrows at me. The first arrow is one of hatred, followed closely by one labeled contempt. Behind him is my neighbor. He doesn’t see me from around the corner of the house. Once again he lets his dog poop on my lawn and doesn’t pick it up. I hate stepping in those little landmines when I mow the grass or, even worse, the kids track them through the house.
Once again I recognize the attack. I hold up my shield. Thud, thud…the two arrows are extinguished as they hit my shield. They fall uneventfully to the ground and disappear. I decide not to get mad, but I am resolved to talk to him later and deal with the matter in a Christ-like manner.
I look around, no more demons, no more attacks…for now. As I get in my car and drive to work I think, it’s still early and already the attacks come at me. What will the rest of the day hold?
To Be Continued…