Friday, September 19, 2008

Dropping My Shield

Last week during my Thursday night Legend of Zelda session, I had to defeat a particular miniboss who had this annoying habit of picking me up and throwing me across the room. As you might guess, this tended to kill me rather quickly. I couldn't figure out how to dash in, slash with my sword, and dash back out again fast enough to not get grabbed and tossed. I think it was the Cobbler who finally observed that my shield was causing me to bounce off the miniboss, which made my sword-flailings even more ineffective than usual.

So I started running into the room with my shield down. I might have even disabled the shield so I wouldn't be tempted to use it. And guess what? It only took me a couple more tries to beat the miniboss (out of 20 or 30 tries total). It struck me as interesting that going into battle seemingly defenseless actually made me better able to defend myself and ultimately defeat my enemy.

A few days later I thought, "How often do I dare to drop my shield spiritually?" Whenever I'm faced with a challenge, I immediately duck behind a carefully-constructed set of my own assumptions. Sometimes these ideas of what safety is help me to ward off the attacks of the Enemy. Sometimes, though, I end up just getting tossed around and in my hurt and confusion ask God, "How can he still hurt me when I have my shield up the whole time?" Then God points out that my shield isn't helping me one iota, and that in order to advance past this dungeon, I need to just let it go for a little while and have faith that when He tells me I don't need it, I really don't.

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