Defend us, your humble servants, in all assault of our enemies...
-- from the Book of Common Prayer
When my paternal grandmother was having a very bad day, she was known to exclaim, in Low German, "Come here, Devil! I'll take you by the neck and choke you!"
I'm sure it sounded more impressive in the original. And even though my grandma would have had to strain to reach five feet in height, she was a strong and scrappy lady, and I think had Old Scratch shown up in a puff of sulfurous smoke at her frustrated invocation, he would have had a real fight on his hands.
This morning, as I embark upon The First Day of The Rest of My Life while laboring under the wheezy heaviness of bronchitis, I am feeling angry...and impatient...and contentious. Kind of like Grandma P. But my perceived locus of control is shifting back and forth -- at one moment I am ready to visit my outrage over my illness upon the "devil" of bronchitis with an arsenal of medicine, Vitamin C and positive thinking, and in the next minute I'm whiny and contrite and placating: "I'm sorry if I brought this on myself, God -- please make me well."
It's that old "Life is difficult" thing again.
I know it's politically correct these days to like verbal bellicosity and war metaphor in our Godtalk, but frankly this morning I needed to invoke God's protection against the "assault of my enemies" -- even viral ones; even whatever psychological ones sent my immune system into the tank.