We Have Crickets!
“We are demolishing arguments and ideas, every high-and-mighty philosophy that pits itself against the knowledge of the one true God. We are taking prisoners of every thought, every emotion, and subduing them into obedience to the Anointed One.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 (The Voice)
We have crickets! I’m not talking about the cute little crickets that children like to put in insect carriers either. I am talking about big, black, loud chirping crickets that you wouldn’t even consider stepping on to kill for fear of them carrying you away if you stepped on them. They are so gross! They’ve mostly been confined to the basement area, which seems reasonable with as much in and out we are doing rehabbing the basement. However, when I come downstairs in the middle of the night to use the restroom, their chirps are a loud cacophony rising up through the floor vents that make me feel like I’m out in the woods. CLEARLY, this is not normal! This old home we are rehabbing had terrible windows in the basement. My guess is they were the original ones from 1916 based on the way they looked when we tore them out. Besides simply having deteriorated, there were also lots of gaps around them which I’m sure has been like a welcoming highway to these crunchy little creatures in our home. Having just recently put in new windows, I’m confident we may have the issue under control but it’s taking time to deal with the residual hiders. As we wait, we are doing the best we can to deal with them as they “pop-up” and keep a good attitude. Some days are better than others. My husband has found the most effective technique is using the shop vacuum to suck them up. Like I said, stepping on them is NOT an option. So, this has been a quick and relatively easy way to deal with them. Plus, being a nice guy, he will even take the vacuum out and let them go. Much nicer than I would be! So, we have a plan in place that seemingly works. But every now and then one of these crickets somehow escapes the basements and makes its way undetected to our second floor. This was the case two nights ago. I had just drifted off to sleep when I heard my husband come into the room. Usually, he is pretty quiet and slips into bed undetected if I’m already sleeping, but this night was different. The light flipped on, there were lots of weird noises as it sounded like he was dragging something across the floor, and then I heard him go back downstairs. Now, I wasn’t awake enough to get up and see what was happening, but when he returned, I remembered mumbling, “What are you doing?” There was a sigh as he climbed into bed… “cricket in our room” he said with a notable tone of irritation. Thoughts, especially negative ones, are a lot like big, black, invading crickets. These dark, ugly thoughts sneak in undetected and then out of nowhere, when we least expect it, surround us. As much as we’d like to, it’s not easy to just squash them. And, much like my mid-night chirping symphony, some of these thoughts scream loudest to us at night when we are trying to find rest. It could be thoughts about our insecurities, fears about a situation, or remembering ugly things others have said to us. Whatever the negative thought, it’s there, irritating us. So, what do we do? The counselor in me could direct you to great cognitive behavior tools to help with this, mindfulness skills, or even good over-the-counter supplements that are helpful. Nothing wrong with any of these things, but what I’ve found most helpful is combining these tools with the truths found in God’s word. 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to “take prisoner every thought, every emotion, and make them obedient to Christ.” It sounds good, and it is, but let me point out something we overlook much of the time. Taking something “captive” as some versions say or “prisoner” means it is not going to go easily or willingly. We have to intentionally take hold of the negative thoughts and emotions and make them obedient to Christ by doing what the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” I know it’s not simple or easy to fight negative thoughts or emotions. Just the other night my mind was working overtime, reminding me of all my failings and causing me to question myself, “Who are you to write anything about God? Who are you to try and encourage others; remember what a mess you’ve been in the past?” On and on the thoughts came. I couldn’t stop them from coming, they were like those stupid crickets popping up everywhere, but I could choose to trust Jesus and not lean into these thoughts. Instead, I chose to take them captive, refuse to give them any merit, and believe what is true. Which is, I am a redeemed, not perfect, child of God. When I remember this and truly trust it, the sound of my negative cricket thoughts stop chirping and I’m able to fall asleep in peace. For Your Reflection… Negative thoughts and emotions can sneak up on us so easily. Like my crickets, sometimes they are big and ugly. It’d be great if we could just cast them aside as easily as sucking crickets up in a vacuum, but rarely is it that simple. Whatever “crickets” are jumping into your head these days, remember to take them captive and force them to focus on what Jesus says is true about you. And don’t forget, Jesus is always waiting to sit with you and help you through. Believe he is present.