Hiding in plain sight
Recently I was studying ostriches with my son for homework. We learned about these massive 7-9 foot animals and I couldn’t believe how fast they run (43 miles an hour) or how one of their kicks is powerful enough to kill a man or even a lion. My question after reading all these facts was simple- given that it could out run or kill its predators why would the ostrich hide its head in the sand? They actually don’t hide their heads in the sand (so many years of cartoon knowledge down the drain!). An ostrich that fears a predator attack will actually lay its long body down flat on the ground and try to blend into its surroundings.
I began to think of myself as a Christian, of God’s call in my life and the following bible passage.
Ephesians 6: 10-17
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Am I an ostrich? Do I as a Christian try to blend into the world around me so that I can avoid being singled out? Do I have opportunities to shine God’s light but put the dimmer switch just so that I’m not criticized for being thought too fanatical? (To be honest I am a fan of God.)
If we truly “dress” ourselves daily with the armor of the Holy Spirit what is there to fear?
I can think of a long list, family members, co-workers, even strangers on the street will make my list, as well as my own fear of being too holy. I recently asked the teenagers in my religion class who wanted to be a saint and only one hand went up. We want to get through life playing the middle and make it into heaven at the end. Nothing heroic, nothing that stands out or will be spoken about, nothing that can be challenged; as if we are on a reality TV show, you know the mentality play the middle and slide into the end.
I wish that placing God’s armor on daily was a visual thing. Maybe I would be more easily reminded of the weight of grace I carry daily. Our challenge as Christians is to be Christians at all times. During gossip, off color jokes, in the movie theater, in our music and buying choices. Our society has slowly removed God from our vocabulary. Do we say bless you or God bless you and are we brave enough not to say “Oh my God” and keep the sanctity of His name alive. I pray that I can keep the truth of God’s word in my heart at all times, so that when called upon I may not lay down like the ostrich and try to blend in. With God’s grace and armor I pray that I can stand and testify to the truth in my daily life.