Saturday, November 14, 2009
Braving the Lions
A while ago I was reading from Proverbs 26:13-14 “The sluggard says, "There is a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming the streets!" As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed.”
What if on one occasion the man got out of bed and left his house to go to work and there really was a lion roaming the streets? The man didn’t live somewhere where lions are in cages in a zoo, or on a TV programme chasing down and eating antelopes. Lions in his world were roaming around the countryside. Perhaps just one morning, it happened. There was a lion. The man was scared. It made perfect sense not to leave the house. Perhaps months or years down the line, he still didn’t leave his house.
We look at things from our viewpoint – we will never encounter a lion roaming the streets, so we assume it will never happen and the proverb is about the ridiculous reasons some people make up to justify not doing something they should be doing. The man should be going to work, but he is too lazy, so he says there’s a lion outside.
The lion, whether real or not real, became the excuse to stay at home, to turn on the bed like the door turns on its hinges. So many things, real or not real, can be the excuse why we choose not to leave our “houses”.
I was thinking about all the things, real or not real, that could excuse me from going to a Streetpastors’ prayer meeting last night. It was cold, very cold, and chances were I would have to defrost the car. Finding a parking space where I wouldn’t have to negotiate my way around a million taxis taking up the road was going to be near impossible. What if from walking out to car park to arriving at the prayer venue I got mugged? I’ve not really been on the ball this week as I haven’t spent time in the word. There are going to be people there who pray a lot better than I do. Their prayers are much more powerful than mine. I won’t be missed.
Above all of that, for me personally, personal circumstances, the last year’s hardships, seemed to excuse me from going. I am not as strong as everyone thinks I am. I am still fragile, easily inclined to burst into tears.
Would I pray just as effectively if I stayed at home? Not at all! Not with Donny Osmond strutting his stuff on “Dancing With the Stars”.
At this point, I ought to say that we had a tremendous time, pulling down strongholds and setting the enemy to flight. Actually, the smell of toasted sandwiches from the café was driving me nuts, my nose was running and I didn’t have a hankie and the room next door was being used by a Scottish traditional music group.
Just because it didn’t feel like I was pulling down strongholds, didn’t mean that in the heavenlies it wasn’t happening. Something unique happens when a community of believers pray that doesn’t happen when an individual prays alone.
I was part of the community last might.