Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Woodpeckers, Termites and Footstools

"It is difficult to say who do you the most mischief: enemies with the worst intentions or friends with the best."

Imagine yourself as a mighty oak tree, standing strong against the storms of life. Your roots reach deep into the earth. Your branches provide shade and sustenance. You are impervious to most danger, and your life is measured in centuries.

What scares you more, woodpeckers or termites?

We all have enemies. Sometimes they are people who don't like us, and who let us know they don't like us. Other times they are people who pretend to like us but, who we still know hate our guts. And too often, our enemies are disguised as our friends.

Woodpeckers are those enemies that attack you obviously and consistently. They hammer at your defenses, constantly challenging you to protect yourself. They do not try to hide their attacks because they are secure in your inability to defend yourself. Nor are their attacks malicious, they are simply looking to advance themselves and hurting you provides the best means for accomplishing their goals.

Woodpeckers can be other people, or they can be our own internal shortcomings. Some of our flaws are obvious, even to the most biased of observers. Namely, ourselves. We know where we fall short, we know who or what the enemy is, but yet we can only watch as holes are drilled in our lives.

Then there are termites. These enemies attack us from within. Often they, and the damage they do, are invisible to the naked eye. It's only when we try to take serious stock of our lives, when we truly examine the progress we're making, that we can get a full understanding of how rotten our support truly is.

Just like woodpeckers, termites can be external and internal, yet unlike woodpeckers they are easier to ignore. They are silent, small. They insidiously devour us, all while leaving behind a facade of well being and strength.

Termites scare me more than woodpeckers.

But, ultimately, at least according to the Bible, both of them will be my footstools.

Life is about perspective. As we walk along the road of life, often we stumble upon pitfalls and danger because we lack the perspective to chart a better path. Strangely enough, our enemies, the internal and external ones, can provide us with that perspective if we use them correctly.

We don't have to see our enemies as obstacles to avoid, but rather footstools to climb upon. Our enemies force us to hone our focus, they train us in how to behave. As we struggle against our enemies we gain strength, we gain courage and ultimately we gain perspective on them and ourselves.

Nobody likes enemies. Very few of us truly enjoy danger. But both things serve a purpose and the sooner we realize that purpose and conduct ourselves accordingly, the better off we will be.



Deacon Blue said...

Well said, and good food for thought.

Lately, I've realized I need to pay a LOT more attention to the internal woodpeckers and termites.

But at the same times, can't afford to take my eyes of the external ones entirely. ;-)

Darth Whitey said...

Very profound and thought provoking.

Tit for Tat said...

Very Good Post

Though this line reminded me of Religionists.

"They insidiously devour us, all while leaving behind a facade of well being and strength."

MK said...

Wow. This was one of the best things I have read in a long time and personally for me it was right on time. Great job

Big Man said...

Glad to hear it Marrell, and thanks for stopping by.

Raving Black Lunatic