Holy Spirit, clad in work boots, jeans, and a flannel shirt, walked through the foyer and into the great room. He paused for a moment and listened. He thought He heard the muffled cackling of evil at work.
The hammer on his tool belt knocked against his right leg as he followed the noise down a long hall which was bright and cheery. There were nine rooms in all, and eight of the nine doors hung open, allowing light to poor out from inside.
He passed rooms for Love, Joy, and Peace. The room for Patience was looking more than a little gloomy, so He made a note on His checklist. Kindness could also use a thorough cleaning. Goodness was gleaming bright and a scent of freshness drifted out of that room as He passed. Faithfulness was exceptionally spotless, but gentleness needed some attention.
When He got to the room at the end of the hall, however, He found that the door was stuck. He chuckled to Himself. “She’s locked it again”, he said shaking His head. “Oh my sweet child, when will you learn?”
He knocked softly. “No body is home!” an obnoxious voice yelled from the other side.
“Control, is that you?” Holy Spirit asked, somewhat amused.
“No,” came the reply. Holy Spirit knocked a little louder. “Go away!” was the response.
Holy Spirit twisted the doorknob and pulled. The door flew open to reveal Control clinging to the walls and oozing between the floorboards. A foul stench burst forth from the room, causing Holy Spirit to dig His mask out of His pocket and secure it on His face.
“Wow, you’ve done an amazing job this time,” Holy Spirit said, peering over the mask as He inspected the damage.
“You don’t seem very upset, Holy Spirit”
Holy Spirit did not respond, but began to whistle as he pulled a rolled up sterile cloth out of his tool belt.
“What’s that?” Control asked.
“Oh, come on, you should remember this by now.” He set the bundle on the floor and unrolled it to reveal a gleaming set of tools. There were scalpels of every shape and size, several pairs of scissors, a sharp knife, and a Bible.
“You know, I’m supposed to be here. My name is right there on that door.”
“No, the door says Self Control which was a gift from me. You,” He said looking around to determine where He should start, “are definitely not a gift from me.”
He chose a fine tipped scalpel from his array of tools, stepped to a corner of the room, and began to gently separate Control from the wall.
“This is going to take you forever!” Control jeered at Him.
“Not necessarily,” Holy Spirit answered. “See that book?” He asked indicating the Bible.
“Uh huh” Control answered.
“Well, that,” Holy Spirit said as he continued to work, “is my sword.”
“It’s a sword?”
“Yep. Guess who has control of it?”
“Uh, she does?”
“That’s right. All she has to do is realize you’re here, and pick up the sword. As soon as she commands you to leave, you’ll be gone.”
“So, what are you doing then?”
“Sometimes, she needs to feel the cutting of my scalpel. It doesn’t take her very long anymore. I’m just going to gently cut away some of this and she’ll know that I’m here.”
“What if I shove you out the door and don’t let you back in?”
Holy Spirit chuckled. “You don’t have power over me.”
“Oh yeah, then what do you call all of this?” Control asked indicating the sludge-covered walls.
“I call it free will.” Holy Spirit answered.
“So, she can choose me any time she wants to?”
“Yes, she can.”
“Then why bother?”
“Because I love her.”
Just then, the Bible began to shake. It flew open to a passage in Proverbs. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (3:5 NIV)
With that, the sludge in the corner of the room where Holy Spirit was working disappeared. “See, she’s just let go of you in one area of her life,” He said.
“Well, I’ll be back,” Control threatened.
“I’ll be here.” Holy Spirit promised.
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