I had a house guest for a few days last week.
He didn’t talk or eat or drink. I hardly knew he was there, but having him caused quite a bit of mayhem in my house.
My guest was an uninvited lizard.
He had crawled under the weatherstripping of my door and when I opened it coming home from work one night, he raced in with me.
By the time I got the broom, he ran to my floral rug and then I lost him. I couldn’t see him in the dark pattern of flowers and leaves.
I shook out the rug. I vacuumed the couch that sits on the rug, shaking out every pillow. I shook out the drapery panels hanging behind the couch.
No sign of him. I was sure at some point – probably late at night -- he would make his presence known by running across the room or appearing out of nowhere and scaring me like crazy.
Every night, I’d look in the track of the sliding doors and shake out the drapery panels but I never found him.
Over the weekend my niece Devon spent the night and asked if I ever found the lizard. I said I was sure it was long dead.
She asked if a lizard could climb stairs.
She asked if a lizard could walk down the hall to her room.
She asked if a lizard could climb into her bed.
I told her not unless he was a circus lizard.
But after our morning pancakes, I saw him.
In the corner behind the door.
Still very much alive. Where he'd been hiding, I'll never know.
Even without food and water for four days, he was still as lively as he was the minute he crossed my door.
Maybe he was a circus lizard after all.
I raced to get the broom. Devon said she’d watch him so we wouldn’t lose him again. I opened the door and he ran the other way toward us.
After several attempts, I managed to cover him with the broom and sweep him outside.
We slammed the door.
Devon and I flopped down on the couch and she said, “What a commotion that was.”
I couldn’t have described it better myself.
A friend asked me how my week was. I said I had some drama. With a lizard.
He said he liked lizards. He said he wished his drama were only about lizards. He says that kind of drama is calmer than his drama.
It got me thinking about the things we allow to throw our lives into an uproar.
God lets us make our own choices. To some extent, I can determine what kind of drama I’ll allow in my life.
So often I've wished the waters and waves that wash over my life were peaceful and calm instead of swirling with storms of my own making.
Although I have good intentions to approach a situation with calm words and prayerful thoughts, it doesn't always work for me.
I don't think good intentions are the answer. I'm not sure I have it figured out.
But I do know that God's perspective is different than mine.
He promises to be by my side as I tackle life's chaos. He promises that calm waters are found in him.
I take this to heart.
For all of life's tumults, including the mini-drama of creature-catching.
Because I'm sure that's not the last one that will get into my house and vanish.
And hang around for four days, causing quite a commotion.