Recently our family, kids, spouses and grandkids got together at an airbnb for three days of togetherness. It took the form of lots of games, food, and hours of conversation. Kids ran through the house dripping wet, mothers counted them, and everyone ate too much.
A hubbub, enough to get my attention in spite of the chaos of twenty-four adults and children in one house, pulled me to where our brood swarmed at the kitchen window.
“What are you looking at?” I asked coming up behind them.
The gathered group had begun peeling off in clusters. I watched them hurry outside, cousins competing with each other to get out first.
Still with eyes glued to the protection of the glass, my daughter answered, “A snake stuck his head up at the window, swaying,” her hand slithered back and forth in the air, “and looking at us. It was creepy.”
A snake had managed to wedge its long black body onto the outside ledge of the window. Thankfully the day was hot, the air conditioner on and the window closed. Had it been a cool day, the story may have had an unpleasant slithering twist. Rather than the group running out toward it, we would have been running the other way.
If someone would look through the window of my soul, I wonder what they might see.
This morning I read in 1 Timothy 6 a list of things to flee from, among them “envy, dissension, slander, and evil suspicions.” (1 Timothy 6:4; ESV)
Don’t gaze at them, don’t linger there. Keep that window shut.
Our response to their temptation should be to get out of dodge and fast.
Paul follows what we need to flee with a contrasting list of what to run after.
“Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:11; ESV)
I’m not sure what our family group looked like from the snake’s perspective, while he swayed from side to side in the outside heat, but from the inside that head and eyes appeared downright sinister. While he likely only wished for the air-conditioned cool I can only imagine the crazy scene that could have ensued had the clear glass not blocked his entrance.
As I look back at our family time together, I will remember the lesson of not just running from, but the importance of what I’m running to.
Righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness and gentleness.
And I will remember to be really really glad no one left the window open.