Funny question isn't it?
Yeah... kind of.
Many of you may know or not know, but during my adolescent years I participated in karate. Obtaining my black belt while I was 15 was a huge accomplishment. I loved the sport, I loved the discipline, but most of all, I loved the competition. I remember going to tournaments and preparing both physically and mentally for your sparring (fighting) matches. I vividly remember one particular tournament in which I was matched against a very dear friend of mine. We hung out and worked out together but on this particular day, we were out to get each other.
It was a good match. The fight was good but then all of a sudden, I kicked, she went down, and I was asked to bow out. I had hit "below the belt." Illegal in this sport. I would be penalized.
I think back to the match and many others in which I was the offender and also the receiver. Many times I received blows "below the belt." Didn't feel so good.
But I have to say that the blows I received below the belt stand nothing in comparison to the blows that Satan dishes out "above the belt." See, Satan knows right where to attack me and where my weak spot is - and that is my mind. My mind can be a vicious and dangerous tool. He knows how to slither in, manipulate, and twist my mind to play all kinds of games.
See, lately I have been analyzing my life and the elements within in and have completely realized I've allowed my mind to become captive to Satan's grasp. I have on many occasions felt like a failure in the many different roles that I "play" on a daily basis. Just when I think I am doing a good job with the kids, working and playing with them, teaching them, nurturing them - Satan walks in and shoots that idea down in a heartbeat. I begin to second guess myself - wondering why Mattea can't write her name, why Paloma refuses to learn her letters, why Paloma hits and bites and seems to have no remorse, why Mattea throws tantrums like a 2 year old monkey, why there are times of outright disrespect, why, why, why..... And that's not all. He doesn't stop with the kids, he infects all areas - my marriage, my job, my house, my life in general. He is so self defeating and can take a good day and make it rotten in the matter of minutes - if you let him. And that is the problem, I've let him. I have allowed Satan to overtake my mind and beat me down to such a point that all I have begun to see is failure. Instead of seeing the good, all I've been concentrating on is the bad. What I'm not doing instead of what I am doing.
I know that there is no such thing as a perfect wife, perfect daughter, perfect mother, perfect friend - I will never live up to those kind of expectations. I, on occasion, miss a friend's birthday, leave the house a mess simply because I am too tired, plop the kids in front of a movie rather than read to them because I'm too lazy, ignore aspects of my marriage that I know need to be addressed simply because the confrontation seems to stressful, ignore the laundry piles, pretend the grass hasn't grown in the last week, feed the kids macaroni 2 days in a row rather than make the effort to cook something healthier, choose to run on a day where the kids would rather go to the park. I could go on, but I'm thinking you might be getting the point.
What I have come to realize - although it hasn't been an easy task - is that the mind is such an intricate and delicate organ. It can be your best friend - but also your worst enemy. If you allow yourself to hear the self defeating, negative noise that occurs through Satan, you can be brought down to your knees in a matter of minutes. But, it doesn't have to be that way.
Recently, I've drug out the head gear - that's right, head gear. During our sparring matches, we made sure as competitors that we wore plenty of protective gear. An important piece of that gear was a head piece. It protected your head and face against illegal and potentially deadly blows. Well, since Satan has taken a liking to hitting my mind, I have brought out the head piece. May not always be pretty to wear, but I have it on. My head gear is not red and spongy like my karate gear but rather it is invisible. I know the only way to fight off Satan is through Christ. One whom I know I can't see but feel often. It is through His words and His teaching that I will defeat and win over Satan during this all too important match. I will be the one left standing.
How about you?