I never once considered, as I began reflecting on Proverbs 14:26-27, where it might lead, or of the “rabbit” I might chase. It’s been a journey, and one, which I think we complete this morning, as we contemplate slaying The Jabberwocky.
In the more recent movie, Alice in Wonderland, the Jabberwocky, is a flying dragon (of sorts), which Alice must slay in order to return Wonderland to its place of vibrant glory. She is the destined one…and it has been written from the beginning that one named Alice would do the deed on “Frabjous Day” (a fabulous, joyous day!).
Symbolically, we each have our own Jabberwocky, which must be slain. Where do we find this creature in our own personal lives? Certainly, we could venture down a number of roads seeking the Jabberwocky – an oppressive demonic force, perhaps? - some persecuting human enemy? - a terrorizing fear? No, I think we need travel no further than our own minds to find that creature!
Nothing jabbers at me, and sends my soul spiraling, quite like my own mind. I imagine yours, too! We tend to live in our thoughts and rest there much too long, much too often. Words spoken to us; perceptions we imagine; what if’s we envision; fears we fancy – all have the capability of cycling around and around and around our brains, leaving us breathless, weak, and incapacitated. Our worlds turn dark, black and gray, colorless. Yes, the Jabberwocky lives in our mind, and that fierce dragon breathes his fiery worst over and over, especially in the middle of the night. We are called to victory; it is written that there is a “Frabjous Day” for all of us:
…but thanks be to God, who give us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:57)
…for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. (2 Cor 10:4-5).
…put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil…for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, the powers, the world forces of this darkness, and against spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to resist…and having done everything, to stand firm… (Ephesians 6:10-13)
Good news: the victory is sure.
Bad news: it is not easy! To slay the dragon we must wear the armor of God (go in His strength and the power of His might), and thrust the sword (the Word of God) over and over and over and over, until finally the Jabberwock is dead, and we can slice off his head (just as David did Goliath).
What do I do in the dark, or at other times, when the Jabberwocky goes crazy attacking me? I’ve found several things helpful (but let me assure you, I don’t have it down, not yet). I find it doesn’t do any good to sit still. At the times when the “Jabber” is most “wocky,” praying is almost out of the question (he tends to drown out my prayers with distraction). So, I move…usually I go to a place where the Lord seems to speak regularly (my “spot” on the couch, where I meet with the Lord each morning, or if possible, I go for a walk outside). Since silent prayers are drowned out by the beast, I pray aloud; or if it’s middle of the night, I write out my prayer). Like King David in the Psalms, I am very honest with the Lord. I line out my thoughts, specifically, in messy detail. I talk; then, I listen.
Listening involves the Word, the Truth*. Sometimes I know the truth I need to hear, and it comes easily to mind… Other times, I draw a blank, and I have to read reflectively for a while, until my mind receives the truth the Lord has for me for that moment. Either way, I listen for that still small voice that holds the key to victory – the sword of the Spirit, which is able to thrust deep into the dragon… Sadly, sometimes I just wound him, and he flies off to recuperate, returning other nights. Yet, over time, I learn how to defeat him more quickly, and ultimately, I can eliminate him all together. What I am looking for most of all is God’s perspective on my messiness. Once I have his perspective, I often find His peace. They seem to go hand in hand.
A word of warning, some Jabberwockies are bigger than others. Some take a little more time to wear down, and kill. Others require a little something more – like fasting, or further digging into the truth, or some accountability, even a little more “faith power” (achieved by including friends who pray and counsel). The hope of it all is that there is a “Frabjous Day” coming…and you are destined to discover it! It is written!
*Side note: One thing that really helps me is to keep a stack of 3 X 5 cards handy, on which I write key passages of Scripture. I can keep those with me for those random moments when I need them (and, I, also use the cards as memory packets, so I can also hide that truth in my heart for "at moment's notice"). I keep these cards in my purse, so no matter where I am, they are available for "such a time as this."