The Elephant in the Room

…let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
Ephesians 4:23

A Re-run

This afternoon, I read a devotional entitled “The Elephant In The Living Room.” I really liked the title but didn’t care for the devotion because it spoke of things that really did not touch my soul at all. I have scanned, searched, and thought about what I could write for my devotion tonight. Here’s the problem. I’m feeling kind of down today. Shirley even asked me “Why are you so gloomy today?” I really didn’t know I was gloomy until I started to write a devotion. And that was when I just seemed empty.

You know I think the real question is not about the elephant in the living room. It’s about how did he get in? I’m looking at the door right now and he had to be awfully small when he arrived. But now the thought is this elephant is huge – so huge we should not miss seeing it. But he had to get in sometime, and I bet he came in when he was small.

I bet my gloomy day started out like everybody’s gloomy day, one little cloud at a time. Actually I think my gloomy day started a couple of days ago. Perhaps with Sundays announcement of my retirement and our new pastor coming, it is starting to sink in that I only have a couple of months left at Pine Grove? Maybe it’s the phone call I received Monday informing me that a close former member of a former church had just passed away? It could be that by Sunday I will have officiated at three funerals in eight days? I have tried for two days now to start writing the two remaining messages I want to deliver. But to my dismay, I do not have even the first word started. Tuesday morning before 9 o’clock I had received two phone calls about kids and families in trouble, and these are families and kids I care about, but the only thing I can do is pray.

Now I’m really in trouble, because my elephant metaphor breaks down. Perhaps I should’ve used butterflies which came in one at a time as the door was left ajar. And now they can just fly back out one at a time as I deal with each problem each butterfly brought. Instead, I am left with a huge elephant who snuck in when he was little, and now how in the world can I get him back through that door? Well folks, now I’ve got two problems – one big elephant in the living room, no way to get him out, and a devotion that’s not finished.

Perhaps tonight is the night when I need to ask for your help instead of offering my own advice? When you receive this devotion tonight stop, pray, and ponder ways to solve my problem, and in turn find the solution to when you see that elephant peeking around the corner of your living room.

I have already thought of a chainsaw, but we would lose half the living room wall.

I have thought of pouring alum on the elephant and waiting for it to shrink. But that’s a lot of alum!

I have thought about putting him in the dryer with one of those dryer sheets that would make him fluffy enough to just be pushed through the door. But those things just get stuck in your socks, pant legs and other places we won’t mention.

I have even thought of pouring salt on him like you do on a snail, and therefore having him (bad pun coming) turn from the inside to the outside. That was really bad.

I think perhaps what I really need is to read a good uplifting devotional from someone else, a good night’s sleep, and start fresh in the morning.

Dear Lord, help get this huge elephant out of my room, lift my spirits and help me to be of help to those who need me this week. In and through Jesus. Amen.

Grace and Peace



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