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Poems, Life Lessons and Dreams

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RECOGNISING RATS

Most of us have seen a rat; and I don’t mean the fancy ones that you can buy in pet shops and which make lovely pets, but the ugly wild ones that are quite scary and disease ridden. My friend saw one in her garden recently and was appalled by it; to think that such a horrid creature was at large so near her home. She was no longer able to enjoy spending time in her garden admiring her flowers and tending her plants. For a number of days she and her husband attempted different ways to get rid of their unwanted visitor but in the end they had to resort to calling the expert rat-catcher from the local council.

She went on to tell me about how God used this experience to illustrate how ‘rats’ can rob us of our joy; how they can infiltrate the lovely gardens of our lives and undermine us. These spiritual ‘rats’ include things like anger, fear or resentment; and you can all probably think of many more. If not dealt with they will destroy our peace and damage our relationship with God. And it is pointless to try to deal with these issues on our own. Just like my friend we need to go to the expert to help us get rid of these obnoxious ‘rats’ from our lives and we Christians know that the expert to call upon is the Holy Spirit. When we call out to him, he will come in and remove these pests from our lives so that once more we can enjoy our ‘gardens’.

The night before my friend told me about the rat in her garden I had dreamed of two horrible rats. They were in a large warehouse and I was disgusted by them. As time went on though, they came nearer and I became more tolerant of them till in the end they were right beside me and had turned into pet rats.

Thinking about this dream I realised that it went together with my friend’s word from God and that God was showing me that we can, often inadvertently, allow the ‘rats’ to take up residence in our lives; to become ‘domesticated’. I asked him to show me the domesticated ‘rats’ in my life; insecurity was one; so much part of me that I didn’t consider it to be a problem any longer.

Different people will have different ‘rats’ – intolerance or unforgiveness; negative or critical attitudes; complacency, addictions, low self esteem to name but a few. We all must have them, these ‘rats’ which are so much part of our lives that we don’t consider them to be harmful. We are pretty good at recognising the ‘wild’ ones but we need to identify the domesticated ones as well and allow the heavenly rat-catcher to destroy them and set us free of those ‘pet’ rats that eat us away from the inside.
 
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Tried to paste it for you in the URL box, but said something went wrong. I know for me, sometimes I have to try copying the link again, because I miss one symbol then it won't work. You will get used to it. :)
 
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Tried to paste it for you in the URL box, but said something went wrong. I know for me, sometimes I have to try copying the link again, because I miss one symbol then it won't work. You will get used to it. :)
I just tried this as an experiment but none of the icons above the posting box work so there must be something wrong. I have tried to get a few of them to work but they won't. Can't change colour, do bold, or underline or anything else. Anybody know why?
 
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LEARNING TO DANCE

I believe that submitting to God is a bit like learning to dance.

If you've ever watched 'Strictly Come Dancing' you will have seen various celebrities being taught to dance by their professional partners with varying degrees of success. For the purposes of my illustration imagine that Jesus is the male professional and that you are the female learner. Men reading this may need a good imagination.

When the dancers first meet, the one wearing the 'L' plates knows virtually nothing compared to their partner whose whole life is dance orientated. As the man reaches out to take the his partner in his arms to begin the first lesson she can react in one of four ways:

• She can become stiff and rigid; unmovable and refusing point blank to learn anything.
• She can become totally limp with fear in his arms; lacking confidence and unable to move a step she is completely useless.
• She can try to be the dominant partner; wanting only to take control; thinking she already knows all the moves and wanting to show off.
• Or she can trust her partner; co-operate and yield; being ready and willing to learn the steps and to follow her partner's lead.

Although she may be willing to learn, at first she will almost certainly be clumsy and make many mistakes; she may often stumble and make wrong moves or get her timing wrong. As the lesson progresses though, and with lots of practice, she becomes more confident till eventually her movements are fluid and she is floating around the floor in a flowing, graceful dance; at one with her partner and radiating beauty.

I definitely want to learn to 'dance' and follow Jesus' lead but I've still quite a way to go until I'm in perfect harmony with him - so let the lessons continue and let me be a good learner.
 
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A PICTURE OF MARRIAGE

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. Ephesians 5:22

Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:24

Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Colossians 3:18

As a woman and, I suspect, in the company of many other women, I have often wished that these verses weren’t included in the scriptures. Wrongly I have perceived them to be biased in favour of the man in a relationship. But God has showed me a new picture of submission and in a loving relationship it ought not to be a heavy thing, but rather something joyful and natural.

I am an ardent fan of a TV programme called ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and love to watch the celebrities grow in confidence during the weeks spent learning and competing. Even in the relatively early days of the programme some of the amateur dancers stand out and by the final couple of weeks it becomes harder to predict who will win.

As I was watching a recent episode of ‘Strictly’ I began to see that a good marriage should be like a dance partnership. The man leads, the woman follows his lead. She must trust him implicitly if the difficult lifts are to be successful. He twirls her away and she dances alone for a while but they are still in step, still dancing to the same music. He draws her back into a close hold and she rests in his arms in the beautiful rhythms of the dance. She reacts to his every move and he is completely aware of her.

Whether the music is fast and joyful or slow and sensuous their partnership is beautiful. And the longer they dance together the more confident of her own ability the female partner becomes.

To me this is a picture of how marriage should be. It is an equal partnership with each partner having their own role; their own set of steps if you like. The woman in a marriage should not lead her partner but follow him just as the female dancer follows the male lead. But equally the man should not control the woman, she must follow willingly.

There will be circumstances when a woman will be ‘dancing’ separately from her husband, for example following a career or ministry, but their lives should continue to be lived in harmony and in step with one another.

During hard times, as in the dance lifts, the wife needs to trust the husband. And there need to be times of closeness and intimacy for the partnership to remain strong.

These dances are choreographed for a man and a woman and are so beautiful to watch when performed by experts. But the dance would not look so good if either was dancing alone; or if the man was pulling and pushing the woman around the ballroom; or if the woman was resisting and refusing to follow the man’s lead.

This picture of marriage has really opened my eyes to how things should be and I hope it blesses those who read it.

 

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