“I didn’t think we had termites in Colorado.”

If I had a dollar for every person I know who thinks that … well, I could have used the cash to pay the termite guys. We definitely have termites in Colorado. More specifically, in my neighborhood, er, in my house.

“Out of sight, out of mind.” I suppose that is true for most things we don’t know are happening, or don’t even want to imagine may be happening. And then something dramatic happens.

We took care of the termites and have one remodeled bathroom and another in the works. (It’s all tied up in the same dramatic event.) None of it was planned or budgeted for right now, but these things happen. And since I consider myself a lifelong learner, I can report that I have now learned how to distinguish termite tunnels from the unremarkable trails of dirt that stick to the walls in places where you never much think to look anyway, like the crawlspace where this probably all started.

I have better things to look at! More interesting things to think about!

But also because I am a lifelong learner, everything is a metaphor. Even termites.

Sometimes the supports that hold up the walls of our lives wear away gradually. At first it doesn’t occur to us that something might be wrong. We don’t even know what signs to look for. Gradually something seems a little off, but even then we have other challenges or aspirations on our minds and we put off investigating or preventive planning. Eventually we have to admit that things are going to turn out very badly indeed if we don’t take timely action.

Or we really do wait too long and everything falls apart.

It can be scary to admit there’s something amiss in the walls of our lives. As long as we don’t look, we can pretend everything is fine.

But that’s still pretending.

Relationships. Money. Harmful habits. Health. Wayward children. Faith. We can pretend about a lot of things, but that doesn’t stop the damage from happening out of sight. So let’s be people of courage instead, people who pursue health in every dimension, people who aspire to live in wholeness, people who help each other heal.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).