The actual vase and plant referenced in this post. Note that the water has been changed and is fresh and clean!
A pesky mosquito or two would interrupt our attempt to sleep at night with an annoying buzzing about our ears. During the day the mosquitoes seemed to be in stealth mode, but we soon experienced the effects of their presence by an itching of an arm or leg. Even if we were successful at dispatching a specific mosquito, another one soon had taken its place. Where were they coming from? Our windows had good screens and we weren’t in the habit of leaving a door open.
Then I happened to gaze at a plant we had in a small glass vase of water on the window sill over the kitchen sink. There were mosquito larvae wiggling about in the water! We were raising our own mosquitoes in the house!
An effective defense against the mosquitoes was not to focus on the window screens or the doors to keep them from coming in. Rather, our focus to keep the mosquito population at zero within our house had to be on the vase with the plant, located on the window sill over the kitchen sink. I changed the water, and from that point on kept an eye on the vase’s water!
The experience reminded me of the story of the Trojan horse. In order to gain entrance into the city of Troy during the Trojan War the Greeks built a large hollow horse. They then pretended to retreat, leaving the large wooden horse behind. The Trojans brought the abandoned horse into their city, and that night a group of Greek soldiers emerged from hiding in the hollow horse and opened the city gates, allowing their fellow Greeks, who had secretly returned, into the city which they then conquered.
We were dealing with Trojan mosquitoes! The danger was not from without but from within!
This is so true for life beyond Trojan horses and Trojan mosquitoes. Sure, we face problems and setbacks that assault us from the outside. Yes, circumstances and social circles around us can tempt us to respond badly. However, what ultimately determines how anything external impacts us is how we deal with it internally.
It’s our private thoughts, our inner feelings, our hidden passions, our deepest motives, and our core commitments that determine how well we do with life rather than the external issues we face. Complaining about external factors or blaming outside forces will get us nowhere. The mind and heart are where the battle is won or lost. The battle is within!
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23