FROM THE WELL 7/27/2016

So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, 3 for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-3)

Annie Dillard writes the following in her book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek:

At the end of the island I noticed a small green frog. He was exactly half in and half out of the water. He was a very small frog with wide, dull eyes. And just as I looked at him, he slowly crumpled and began to sag. The sprit vanished from his eyes as if snuffed. His skin emptied and drooped; his very skull seemed to collapse and settle like a kicked tent.

An oval shadow hung in the water behind the drained frog: then the shadow glided away. The frog skin bag started to sink.

I had read about the water bug, but never seen one. "Giant water bug" is really the name of the creature, which is an enormous, heavy-bodied, brown beetle. It eats insects, tadpoles, fish, and frogs. Its grasping forelegs are mighty and hooked inward. It seizes a victim with these legs, hugs it tight, and paralyzes it with enzymes injected during a vicious bite. Through the puncture holes it shoots the poison that dissolves the victim's muscles, bones, and organs-all but the skin-and through it the giant water bug sucks out all the victim's body, reducing it to liquid.

Paul says to "seek the things that are above." A person cannot walk with Christ and at the same time do those things that are contradictory to following Him. Doing those things that are contrary to following Christ-Paul gives a list: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, greed (which is idolatry), anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language-will suck the life out of you. That's why we must confront our sin and name it. 

One of the basic steps of any twelve-step program (AA and Al-anon) is admitting you have a problem. Recovery and growth cannot happen until you are honest with yourself and with God. This is why Paul, later in the Colossians text, says that we need to take off our old clothes and put on new ones. We can only do that when we allow God's transforming grace to enter our lives. Think about it.

Matthew