But I wish I could.
Mowing isn’t work for me – it’s solitude. The ear-muffled drone of the mower’s engine while traversing a patterned course around my property is peaceful. With the precision of a figure skater I glide along the terrain, restoring a sense of order. Slowly. Carefully. Methodically. It’s wonderful.
But such tranquility can be destroyed – by them.
They perch in my apples trees, glaring with iridescent eyes while crafting their aerial torment. They flit around in the tall field grass, pausing to preen their monster-like leg barbs. Inaudible insect communications cascade around me as a platoon of winged warriors coordinate their assault upon my peace-filled mowing.
But I’m a fighter. I’ve strategized a defense that has required me to become an excellent one-armed driver. With one hand, I can deftly turn the tightest radius while engaging safety switches and gear selectors. This technique frees my other arm for maniacal waving to ward off those fiendish intruders. Still, those little devils kindle my rage as I flail intensely, hoping to thwart their space invasion.
Whether mowing or picnicking or even sitting indoors, badgering flies are a picture of a deeper torment. A tension strung deep in the soul. A clash between what’s true, and what’s not. Like a fly that won’t leave me alone are the lies I believe about myself.
My lies plague me. Every day. They buzz about my thought life, whispering that I’m a runner-up, not a winner. That I’m not good enough. I don’t measure up. I have nothing to offer. These lies of inadequacy pester and plague. They seek to preoccupy my activities with thoughts of disappointment and pain – pain that tempts me toward a silent withdrawal or prods me to anger while eroding my joy.
Lies mar our self-image and steal opportunities for us to flourish. When we’re absorbed with the nuisance of deception, it’s difficult to be an engaged, faithful spouse. A sensitive, patient parent. A trusted, available friend. It’s like driving a lawn mower with one hand. Our relationships are worthy of a diligent care that one-handed driving can’t provide.
The strategy for lie-swatting? God’s Word, His Spirit, and His people.
A consistent feasting on the truth of God’s Word is excellent lie repellent. Praying and listening in the Spirit is a sure way to crowd-out whispers of inadequacy. Trusted, God-centered, deeply honest relationships bolster spiritual resilience and help with embracing life whole-heartedly – both hands on the wheel. The lies may still stir exasperation, but the buzz lessens as we tune into the One who rejoices over His children with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).
If I were Lord of the Flies, my kingdom would be fly-free. Alas, I must accept the accompaniment of my mowing buddies. Even more, I must face the reality of the enemy’s lies that perturb me with tireless persistence and tempt me toward disbelief in the goodness of God. But thanks be to Jesus, who is Truth and offers grace sufficient for every moment of struggle.
So, in the name of Jesus, “Shoo lies – don’t bother me!”
For more on the real-life struggle of truth and lies watch this panel discussion recorded at Blythefield Hills Baptist Church, Rockford, MI