This is a view of life, about the flu, and the way people should be interacting with other people, from a wayfarer’s travel’s.
This was supposed to be “good Friday” and there was nothing good about it. The stack of books sat beside me, unused, and uninterested, I could hardly keep my puffy eyes open. Besides my best efforts in providing my body with fluids, vitamin’s, and flu and cold meds, the valiant battle raged on within me. This was the time of the year where viral intruders seemed to make their rounds as unwelcome guests they fly just under the radar, passing through half manned defenses like a hot knife through room temperature butter. Perhaps if I didn’t push so hard at work, or play so hard after work and on the weekends? But family and kids, deadlines, and the boss’s unrealistic expectations….which is the only real justification for my current condition. I reasoned all this to myself as the only real good excuse that I was willing to except at the time.
Flopping myself unceremoniously in my easy chair I glanced over to my stack of books. Reading wasn’t going to happen as I waited for my body to gain the upper hand in the battle. My eyes were too puffy and my eyesight was to bleary, watery, and itchy, to give any interest net alone concentration to reading. I wanted to sleep this off. But I had just gotten up from an unusual 12 hour sleep fest. I felt powerless to live life as a normal person, just wanting to do my common everyday things. Instead I was transferred, downgraded, and demoted having to live with this miserable viral intrusion. My only comfort was melting back into my easy chair and wait for the next sneeze to come.
I said out loud, “This wasn’t how it was supposed to be.” Tossing another crumpled tissue to the pile. This wasn’t how my weekend was supposed to be at all. I had plans to do things with the kids, and dinner with friends, all of which now had to be shelved. Somehow I had become an involuntary combatant, a carrier of the enemy, who by his design wanted me to find new victims to commiserate with. The only fight I had left in me, or so I thought, was to reduce my importance and volunteer for a self-imposed quarantine–Somewhat like throwing myself upon the hand-grenade, a sacrificial offering to reduce casualties in my unit.
I knew that in a few days this to will pass. That my inconvenience will be all but forgotten like a snowflake caught in the palm of someone’s hand, interesting, beautifully intriguing, and in an instant melted way.
All alone in a quiet room, it’s funny how the mind wonders in thoughts uninfluenced by TV or radio, or sounds of music. I started to think how lucky I really was. I know that feeling like crap somehow doesn’t seem like the same kind of feeling lucky akin to winning the lotto or…. I allowed a few thoughts in for a moment to entertain some differences in luck and what it is to be lucky.
Comparing our misery to someone else’s doesn’t seem fair. I could have just washed my hands a few more times, or given less kisses to my kids when they had the sniffles, and misery avoided? But how is that lucky? It’s lucky, because my short-lived snowflakes worth of discomfort, is so unlike that permafrost in others people’s experience. Like a shell of ice freezing them into a permanent inconvenience, nothing at all like this passing trifle. Their challenging circumstances turn my crumpled mound of tissues into a little insignificant temporary speed bump on life’s highway.
Funny how with religious matters people only are interested by answering the question… what’s in it for me? I can sacrifice a few hours or one day per week (one or two weeks a year, like on Easter, and Christmas) and expect so much more from God in return?
I have had these kinds of arguments with my TV evangelist before. I admit that they were one-sided arguments at that? No real response from the TV or the evangelist on the other side of the glass. Of course when we feel like crap we expect people to come running to our assistance. Give me the answers to make this go away and the sooner the better. Not just in a while down the road a bit. But like yesterday, now, instantaneously; like every street light turning green in our favor, so the straightaway help running at full speed towards us can get here sooner. It couldn’t come fast enough. And that’s just to elevate our temporary condition, our snowflakes discomfort.
My TV evangelist says that God longs to help everyone today, or sooner…. In all my reading of the Bible I never heard of any one of the disciples; have to put on hold a mission for God because they were under the weather? So this TV evangelist is speaking a true message then. The disciples were human working for God—so God answers prayers through humans, and wants to help everyone today or sooner?
Image, people like you or I as being answers to someone else’s prayers.
It seems that Christians today have the flu. But I never read that flu was a problem back then. There is nothing mentioned about the flu in the bible like, “The spirit bade me to make hast to Corinth,” said the apostle Paul, “But the enemy of souls delayed my departure with an insufferable ailment common to man.” Apparently that had been edited out. And God’s word had bigger fish to fry then to include things like the flu.
To all of the people with the symptoms of fibromyalgia who’s days are filled with pain, or those people who never smoked a day in their lives who discovered they have been inexplicably riddled with lung cancer, to the young family who’s child needs bone marrow transplant, to the victim of an auto accident who has a crushed spine or nerve-damage that affords them no pain relief, to the person who is addicted with pain-killers, to the 13-year-old girl who has to go back home to an abusive parent, for a single parent struggling with time and money and resources, to the beggar on the street, to the run-away, to the silence of suffering within a marriage gone bad, to those lonely suffering from a personal loss of someone dear to them. These are frozen shell existences that go far beyond my discomfort. It’s easy to be fired up in doing something right after one of our yearly visits to church and think in terms of being a Christian. “Hay, I believe in God! So that counts for something”, seems to be the common thought. People might even give to charity or that bum on the street as they drive through the intersection after church services. Given a day or two, these professed Christians are ready to step over someone in real need, as they go on their way saying or thinking, “The government has to have some kind of programs to help people like that.” In other words…I pay taxes so can’t be bothered with stopping to helping out. I gave with my taxes already, I gave at the office and this money is mine!
There must have been people like that, that existed in the bible? Sickness does funny things to people though. It changes everything about a person; we become different people when sick. Did the followers of Christ like Paul in the story that was edited out, (you remember the one; where Paul was on his way to Corinth but, “The enemy of souls delayed my departure with an insufferable ailment”?) Did they have the strange mindsets like we have today? Was everyone confused with the thoughts of different religious practices, and therefore spiritual responsibilities? Is that the modern sickness that ails our life experiences, compared to those of the past?
Being sick with flu I know that my discomfort is temporary, my good times will certainly come sooner than later. Yet we as humans are still at risk with greatest disease of all–being rich with things of insignificance and not truly of eternal value. When Jesus cautioned us about the difficulty of a rich man entering heaven, He seemed to be speaking to all of us in this time, and in this country (The United States of America. Because we claim to be the richest on earth, in God we trust, and consumed totally with greed, even with personal greed of heaven?) Those who are spiritual or go to church to act churchy, to gain heaven for them-selves (the cure for the religious flu) but fail to bring heaven to those that are less fortunate in life than we are. Excusing ourselves from action, people want benefits, privileges, and gifts—but refuse to freely give.
Jesus healed all kinds of sickness and physical malady, healing their bodies so he could also heal their minds and hearts. This is where being a Christian, also believing in being spiritual must also see that the scriptures aren’t just stories, but the promise of the scripture lies—not on physical healing, but promise of abundant life and changed mindsets.
It’s funny how flawed and transitory our believes are, believing this nation is a Christian nation? Believing in, and wanting “separation of church and state” when it suits us and our beliefs best; all the while expecting our government to have a mothers concern more than we as citizens have for our neighbors and those in need.
If we are spiritual people and believe in going to heaven? Why would we spend more time in preparation to take a trip to an exotic beach, packing the appropriate attire, clothes, swim wear…etc.? Yet with the trip of going to heaven we expect it all–no real need to change ourselves, our attitudes, or our life’s mission, and therefore no real effort in making a positive impact or a spiritual one either as we interact with each other in preparation for heaven. To many times we slip into that mindset like having the flu, “Give me the cure and give it to me now! I’ll do anything…” But when the symptom subsides and goes away….
We forget the promise of scripture lies—not on physical healing, but of abundant life now and forever through mental healing. Religion is the everyday battle for the mind, not some short-term cure when we should get a religious viral infection from the enemy of the soul.
If you ever thought, “what’s happening to our society…why do people act like they do…why are we so violent these days?
It’s attitude: as you think, so you become.