APPEARANCES

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-25


The traffic was typical of a Sunday afternoon on Route 93 just north of Wickenburg. It was hectic! It was bumper-to-bumper as far as we could see in both directions and all travelling at 65 M.P.H.

There he stood in the southbound lane with everyone endeavoring to maneuver around him. It appeared that the inevitable would happen sooner or later, with someone either running off the road or running into another vehicle. I made my decision and maneuver as quickly as possible and then wondered who would bring this ridiculous escapade to an end. Was it defiance or was it fear that kept him positioned to create such havoc? It was impossible to tell what he was thinking, and his appearance only left you with the feeling that it was defiance that made it happen. I speak of a large tarantula.

When you fix your attention of one of those furry creatures, you cannot help but feel that he is just daring you to come close. Why? Tell me why in the world we were all taking unnecessary risks to avoid one quick squish with the tire.

There is something about their appearance that makes you want to avoid any type of confrontation; no matter what the circumstances. Being the nature that I am, I found it undesirable to be the one to write him off. Surely there must be a “springboard” in all of this I thought! There was and there is.

It is uncertain in my thinking how a tarantula could be made to look different and yet have an appealing look to him. However, I know that if I take off, “immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissentions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these” (Galatians 5:19cf), it will not take long for people to observe the positive action involved and know that a transformation of God’s grace has been enacted. But more takes place under the leadership of the Holy Spirit of God. I begin to put on the “fruit of the Spirit” mentioned in verse 22 and the verses that follow. Namely, I put on the “fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”. My work is cut out for me and the enabling for such action will come only as I invite Jesus Christ to take control of my life and the Spirit of God to help me to that end.

Together, let us put-off things that distract and cause people to wonder exactly where we are coming from. Let us rather clothe us with Christ-likeness and avoid unnecessary tragedies in other people’s lives.

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