Somtimes, I find encouragement and inspiration coming from the most unexpected of places. Yesterday it was little Lisa Simpson, sticking it to the man, Mr. Burns, and holding to her convictions of resisting the tide of his monopolistic control over the media in Springfield. I wish I could’ve found a video clip of this episode, but searched to no avail. Sigh… Oh well.
Lisa: I’m sorry, Mr. Burns, but my paper is not for sale.
Burns: Maybe a little gift will change your mind. Send in Sugarbell.
Lisa: She’s very pretty. But the answer is still no.
Burns: Honeysuckle, Dewdrop.
(MUSIC BOX CHIMING)
Lisa: Oh, no! (NICKERING) They’re so beautiful.
And their breath smells like peppermint.
No! No! I won’t take your blood ponies! Go on, sweeties. Go on. Shoo.
Burns: (HISSING) Very well. You had your chance. I am going to shred you like a Christmas card! Now get out!
Lisa: I can’t! My mom’s not picking me up for an hour!
Burns:(SIGHS) So, what do you think of today’s popular music scene?
Lisa: I think it distracts people from more important social issues.
Burns: My God, are you always on?
It’s kinda hard to explain why I thought this was so profound. It’s kinda corny. But maybe I’m just rather tired, or maybe I just thought the term “Blood Ponies” was itself incredibly catchy. It would make spectacular band name. Oh dear, it appears some bizarre Scandinavian rocker(?) chick already thought it would make a great name for a song. Wouldn’t want to be associated with that production. Yikes…
Anyhow. What are my “blood ponies”? What are yours? What are the things so near and dear to our hearts that they would entice us away from conviction and speaking the Truth?
How often do stop and examine the Faustian chinks in my own armor of God in the midst of my own miniscule crusade against the Enemy of the Kingdom?
I suppose it depends on the time of day you ask! Try me before I’ve had at least two cups of coffee in the morning, and any form of black caffeinated sludge will probably top the list. I really need to get past that. Being dependent on regular doses of any given chemical in order to subsidize my mood isn’t exactly living in freedom from the Flesh. I know that from experience.
I dunno, maybe this topic seems slightly more pertinent than usual just because the “Christ-mass” is rolling around again. Don’t fret, I’m not on any x-mas-is-pagan soapboxes here. Not anymore anyhow. Not because it doesn’t have plenty of pagan elements in it, but it’s just that I don’t feel like the big “danger” of Christmas really has so much to do with unwittingly partaking in some modified ritual rooted somewhere in the foggy pagan histories of ancient Europe. I think the danger is more to do with the “witting” participation, in the obvious, almost year-round onslaught of simply appeasing our collective Flesh with the endless smorgasbord of pretty, shiny things. The Turkish Delight. The Bread and Circuses. The parade of blood ponies.
The thing is, my family and I have been through quite a bit over the last few years. We’ve experienced the surreal comfort of a six-figure salary, and the taste of almost-expired groceries from the local food bank. We’ve gone from having “everything we thought we wanted”, to selling most of what we owned, moving over a thousand miles away, and having to more or less totally start over. We’ve had the Father show us just how much we had come to take for granted, how much we had got comfy and cozy with the world. We had a nice little corral of blood ponies, and the Lord in His wisdom saw fit to have most of them taken out behind the barn and shot.
And this is the thing I desperately don’t want to lose, to let slowly slip away, as we see Him answer our prayers and provide, and we start to slowly get comfortable again. A year ago we were sweating bullets, praying that God would miraculously provide a way for us to pay the rent, and now I’m already finding myself wishing, Gee, I wish we had a bigger, nicer house, a newer car, maybe a swimming pool for next summer… The blood ponies are so very beautiful, aren’t they, and their breath does smell like peppermint…
But no. I want to remember those hard-learned lessons. I want to remember that my treasure is supposed to be in Heaven. I want to be like little Lisa Simpson, only for Jesus, and shoo away those beautiful blood ponies, every time the Tempter trots them in front of my little eyes. And yes, I even want to be that confounding voice who drives people crazy, the precocious little kid who is “always on”, reminding people that popular music, (and popular everything else) is really just there to distract us from more important social issues… 🙂