Sleeping Dragons

2:30 AM–The dragon is sleeping.  Not dead, just sleeping.

It doesn’t look much like a dragon, does it?  Yet, I’m sure that’s what it is.  For weeks, I’ve done battle with it.  Oh, not continuously.  I don’t have the strength for that.

I fight with the dragon until I’m tired and then I retreat from the field.  Not in defeat, just a brief reprieve from the back-and-forth of blows and counter blows between combatants.

What’s that?  A guitar can’t strike any blows?  You’ve obviously never met this guitar.  I once thought this an easy conquest, too.

No more.

A few moments before midnight tonight, I sent a message to the Lovely Lady.  Tersely, I claimed victory, suggesting that I would be home soon.  The battle was won, the dragon defeated.

If only.

No sooner had I turned from my smart phone than the battle erupted anew.  A new tuning machine piece must be found, cover-plate screws were missing and had to be located, the volume potentiometer was scratchy and should be cleaned.  All those tasks were completed, but the potentiometer would not be defeated.  A new one had to be installed.  Oh.  And the tone potentiometer had the same idea and would not be denied.  Holes are the wrong size and must be drilled.  The knobs won’t fit on the new pots.

I have been badly burned by the dragon fire on this night.  This time, I have retreated from the field in defeat.  I will finish the fight another day.

But, something else is bothering me.  Yes, I’m feeling sorry for myself.  I’m sure I have earned the right to do that.

But, still…

Ah!  Now it comes back to me.  There are more important battles being fought, aren’t there?  My guitar is hardly in the running for any of the vicious dragons which must be slain in your mind, is it?  The guitar does provide food for thought, though.

I don’t claim to know what battles all of my readers are involved in.  I do know that an old friend lost her dad to cancer a couple of days ago, and another is struggling with the impending death of a beloved pet.  I talked with my Mom tonight.  She didn’t know who I was–couldn’t remember that she had any children at all.  Her loss of cognizance is a dragon my Dad fights daily (and the rest of us do from afar).  My sister is still facing chemo, her husband, the darkness of losing his sight.  I know people losing jobs, and a young man who faces hunger on a daily basis.  The list of dragons goes on and on.

What do we do?  How do we live?  How can we go on fighting dragons that won’t be killed?

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to go to bed in a little while.  After I rest a few hours, I’m going to awaken again, realizing that God has given me one more day to fight the battle which is in front of me.  It’s not just about a guitar, but that dragon is one thing I’ll do battle with again.  It is still in front of me and the only way to the other side is through.

A friend, who has ample experience with dragons, posted an article tonight that questioned whether God allows us to face more than we can handle.  Most believers would say that the answer is no.  This person says yes.

I agree with her.

I have been overwhelmed more times than I can count.  But, that’s not where I am today.

The thing we have to remember is that God’s promise to us is His strength is made perfect in our weakness.  Do you get that?  His strength.  Of course, we’re overwhelmed!

But, He’s not!

The sleeping dragon of a guitar will be waiting when I come in tomorrow.  I’m not excited about facing it again.  My mom will still be unaware of who I am and who my father is.  Funerals will be conducted and chemo regimens will be followed.

I took this picture while out for a walk one evening last spring.  I wanted to remember what a dead dragon looks like.

You see, just moments before the photo was taken, a tornado had blown overhead and the dragon had breathed its fire.

After fear comes new courage.

After destruction, new hope.

Dragons don’t live forever.

We will.

Are you locked in battle right now?  Fight on!

You’re not alone and the battle is not futile.  It may go on for longer than you had hoped.  The result may not be just as you expected.

God won’t be surprised.  He won’t be unprepared.  He promises you that His grace will be enough to get you through.

It’s enough.

Even as the dragon sleeps.  It’s enough.

“So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their ending.”
(from “The Hobbit” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien ~ English educator/author ~ 1892-1973)

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the lord, ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you–plans to give you hope and a future.'”
(Jeremiah 29:11 ~ NIV)

© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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