Confession: I drink a lot of tea. Not hot tea–I seldom drink that. I drink a lot of what some people call iced tea, though I rarely have ice cubes in it. Oh, and I cannot stand unsweetened tea; it has to be sweet tea. Don’t even think about offering me unsweetened tea with sugar packets either, because it is not even close to the same thing. I drink tea at home, I drink tea at work and sometimes–if they can get it right–I drink tea at restaurants. Nowadays I actually drink quite a bit of green tea, which is supposedly healthier, but it’s still sweet.
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I was sitting in a chair in my living room reading a book. I had a glass of tea on a coaster next to me. I stood up to go do something and when I did I also picked up my glass of tea and took a drink. When I did, though, I became immediately aware that something had just entered my mouth besides tea. I did not get a real great feel for it but it was rather solid and certainly should not have been in my tea–and the first thing I wanted to do was spit it out. As I was standing in the middle of the living room I knew this would not be wise, so I managed to not spew the tea across the room. I did however spit it into my hand as a beat feet toward the kitchen sink. When I did so I looked into my cupped hand to see, floating in the little pool of brown tea, a fly.
Now, I hate flies…and I mean that literally. I truly, genuinely, deeply hate them. Unlike many other unlikable creatures (such as snakes or spiders) I cannot think of a single good reason for the existence of flies. I think they may well be part of the curse. I know one thing, had I been Pharaoh when Moses wanted to lead the Israelites out of Egypt there would have been no need for ten plagues. After the flies, I would have given Moses anything he wanted. In fact, I probably would have surrendered Egypt and I would have left!
And now I had just had a fly in my mouth. The very thought of it was disgusting. I dumped my tea and fly into the sink, dumped out the rest of the glass and seriously considered scouring my tongue with a Brillo pad. I was disgusted by the fact that I had had a fly in my mouth. For the next half hour I could hardly get it out of my mind.
Then my thoughts shifted and I was reminded of Revelation 3:16. In that verse God says of the church at Laodicea that because of their lukewarmness He would spit them out of His mouth–literally vomit them! As disgusted as I was by having a fly in mouth, God is even more disgusted than that when I am lukewarm–or when you are–about spiritual things. When we go to church and present the right image but then do our own thing for the rest of the week, He wants to throw up. When we talk a good talk but walk an entirely different walk, He wants to spit us out of His mouth. The level of detestation I have for flies is minute compared to God’s revulsion for lukewarm believers.
In other words, He takes it quite seriously.