Yesterday afternoon I took a walk before the sun went down, and found myself weaving through thorn bushes that grow bountifully through the dry mountain soil.
It's not the first time one of those thorns has trekked home with me, and yesterday was no different. Every time I stepped a certain way on my return home, the pain shot through my foot and eventually I had to sit down in the dirt and squeeze it out with my fingernails.
The initial discomfort was gone so I didn't think a thing of it until just this afternoon as I was walking barefoot around my apartment.
About every 5th step or so, that similar sharp prick made itself known and I found myself limping around my kitchen in order to avoid the discomfort. Before long I retrieved a sewing needle and studied the underside of my foot. I couldn't see a thing, but when I put pressure on the sore spot I knew that I hadn't fully removed the thorn the day before.
After a little poking under the calloused part of my toe, there appeared a brown speck of a thorn wedged into my skin. When I extracted it, the tiny sliver was lost from my fingers before I could even get it in the garbage. So now, besides that fact that you all think I'm a wimp, let me get on to the point of the post.
The thought of such a miniscule speck interfering with my comfort and ability to walk made me think more about the other specks that dig into my mind and throw my peace and initiative way off. There are so many petty things, discouraging regrets, or pointless concerns that crowd my mind on a daily basis. Insignificant as they are, they affect me just like the speck. They cause me to limp around and concentrate on my discomfort rather than what joys and blessings surround me. And the longer they stay, the more infectious and painful they become.
I need to be more deliberate of taking out the 'needle' of truth and extracting these specks of doubt and lies from my heart. It's not enough to ignore or pull out just a part... sometimes it means even getting out the peroxide to fully heal. I can testify how little specks weasel their way to the forefront and cloud my clarity and perspective, just as my whole body cried out for relief when I stepped the sore spot.
I am thankful today for the reminder of the pain and power of the speck, but mostly I'm thankful for the wonderful comfort and healing that can replace it.
Come to me all you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Accept my teachings and learn from me because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and in Me you will find rest for your lives.
~ Matthew 11:28-29