My favorite sucker flavor is root beer—unfortunately I'm not talking about that kind of sucker. That guy who's a pain to be around? I'm not talking about that kind of sucker, either. These are the suckers that pull out our strength and focus, both mentally and spiritually.
We have a couple trees in our front yard. They're not doing great because of the drought here in west Texas, but they're puttering along. I've noticed they have little branches growing out of the trunk, near the ground. They're called suckers because they suck up the water and minerals coming out of the soil before the nutrients can get up to the canopy.
When you look up, you see pale, green leaves. The branches are weak, more susceptible to wind damage, heat, or a late spring freeze. These small branches at the bottom don't look like they could have much effect on the big tree. But they do—they rob the life of the tree.
If you're like me, you have a few suckers in your life. Maybe there's that person that always has something negative to say. Sucks the "good mood" right out of you.
Then there's the person in the office who always has some snide remark to make about your holier-than-though attitude. Sucks away the desire to mention even the smallest thing about about your faith.
Let's get into a bigger one—I don't even what to bring it up—how about TV? How many hours do we spend sitting in front of the "idiot box" as my Mom called it. It seems to suck our brains right out. We'll give up anything—sleep, activity, time with God—to see our favorite shows. Reality shows, cooking shows, CNN or QVC. . .
My weakness is sports. I love to watch racing, baseball, football, basketball—the list goes on and on. My "small" derriere is glued to the chair. At least I get excited and yell at the team occasionally. Other than that, I don't even have to think—I just watch.
One of my biggest suckers is a cup of tea. I sit mindlessly in my recliner holding a steaming cup. Sounds harmless, right? Unless I say to myself, "I'll have time with God after I finish this nice cup of tea." or "I'll read a book after I sit here, daydreaming, with this hot cup of tea." I let it suck out my energy and sense of responsibility.
I don't need time with God. . .that extra ten minutes of sleep is more important. I'll play with the kids. . .when my favorite TV show is over. Suckers that deprive us of the important things in our lives.
I probably haven't even mentioned some of your favorite suckers. But the question is: What can we do about these things? Help is only a prayer away, as the saying goes. Ask God to point out when a sucker invades your day and to give you a way of escape.
Most importantly, put on God's protective armor, first thing in the morning. I don't mean sit down and spend ten minutes praying through Ephesians 6. Just get a piece of paper or a 3X5 card and make a list of the pieces of the armor. Put it on your bathroom mirror, read through the list each morning, and mentally put each piece on. That's it—5 minutes max.
Satan's clever. But God's cleverer.