Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Surreptitious Sickness of Self

Once a year, at least, I get a horrible head cold. My sinuses are funky, nose is plugged up, my throat is a bit off, my eyes are watering, my voice is deeper and I feel miserable. I take just about whatever medicine I can (that is for that sort of thing) and try my best to sleep it off. I want to be better as soon as possible; I am tired of being sick before it even starts. Last year I sat at work and had numerous people come in and tell me that I looked horrible and I should go home. I love to hear that I look horrible; really, it is what I shoot for everyday. That is how frustrated I get with a cold.

I also got very frustrated when I had to have knee surgery after I blew out my knee. I couldn’t do anything for myself, all I could do was very basic things and I got very bored with that quickly.

I bring all of this up because in my readings recently I am realizing that, even though I believe I am awakening to some of the issues, I am sick. I have all sorts of preconceived notions about faith, lifestyle, and entitlement that I need to work through. I am told and tell myself, that I am a pretty good guy, and man does that ever feel good. I love the pat on the back, I love the feeling that “I get it” but I am realizing more and more that I don’t “get it” and I haven’t “gotten it” for a while.

I read this morning in John 5, Jesus asks a man that was an invalid for thirty eight year…THIRTY EIGHT YEARS…”Do you want to get well?” I have read that passage so many times and I never thought about it the way I did today. I mean, isn’t it obvious that he wanted to get well? I know if someone asked me that when I had a cold, I would give an immediate “yes!” I would have said the same thing about my knee. Yet, I almost wonder if someone asked me that about my spiritual sicknesses, would I be so emphatic with my “yes?” Or are there some things that I would just love to hold onto?

By many people’s standards I do not have a bunch of stuff, I would love to write that off as humbleness, but then I see the world and all those who live in cardboard huts or shanty’s made of random boards and sticks they have found. I eat meat every single day, some have never tasted meat. I say some, but the truth is that many and maybe even most of the world hasn’t. I sit in my warm basement at night as hundreds of thousands shiver under bridges, in parks, and in various other locations. I even get frustrated when my wireless internet goes down for 5 minutes or the dish goes down and I miss two minutes of a show I like.

Woe is me.

I am sick, I feel entitled, I am rich, I am selfish, I am easily angered when I feel like someone is infringing on my desires, but I am not hopeless, because I know I am sick…and I do want to get better. I don’t even know what “well” looks like exactly, but I do want it. The point is that we realize that there is a sickness. Imagine Christ leaning down to the man who was ailing for thirty eight years and says, “Do you want to be well?” and the man answered, “What are you talking about I am fine.” The reality is, Christ did receive that response, from the Pharisees and Sadducees and other religious of His time. I find many traces of this same sickness in myself and I am fighting within myself, as the Spirit reveals the strands of sickness, to ditch the sickness even though it is so comforting and embrace the Spirit and His ways.

The struggle now is to find where it is God leads a healthy person, and how to operate amongst those who struggle in this sickness as well, most seemingly unwilling to admit that they are sick. I am just working, and walking forward, waiting for God to reveal to me the fullness of this path. Right now, I just move forward a step at a time, knowing it is the right direction. I am sick, but the path that I am on I believe to be the path to recovery, as His Spirit leads.


Anonymous said...

Good thoughts. Thanks for sharing them. To want to be healed and then to trust the Healer. Easier said than done.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't be written any greater. Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He normally kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty positive he will have a fantastic read. Thanks for sharing!