Okay, I have not written a post in a while and have “lost” a lot of good ideas for posts because I have been pretty busy and fighting a STUPID sinus infection; -hence the inspiration for this post. Be warned! If I ramble, do not make fully coherent statements or talk about “the pretty colors” I am seeing it is because I am heavily medicated on antibiotics, steroids, and my own personal concoction of over the counter meds to keep me going.
I am physically sick. I know something is not right in my body; to be specific, something is not right in my sinus passages. I can continue to take over the counter meds to mask the pain, I can hop up on caffeine to keep me going and I can even strong arm my doctor into giving me more steroids and antibiotics to help keep the condition in my sinuses at bay. –But the problem is; there is an infection in my body that has been there for over three months now. It makes my head hurt. It makes me feel fatigued all the time. It makes me irritable. It makes me less productive at work. –And frankly, it makes me NOT FUN to be around; just ask my wife, my kids and my coworkers.
The fact of the matter is my physical condition greatly affects me & it affects those around me. So… rather than continuing to attempt to cover up the symptoms with ineffective measures, I drove to Indianapolis this morning and visited with a nice man who just happened to be an ENT doctor. He introduced me to some nice ladies who then placed me in a big sphere with flashing red lights that performed a CT scan. I was told by a another very nice lady that sometime in the next 48 hours someone with a few more zeros than her in their paycheck will evaluate my CT scan and hopefully we will get to the bottom of my problems and do whatever ever is needed to permanently resolve my issues –well, at least my sinus issues.
It was a real pain to go to Indy today. I could have easily given multiple reasons (excuses) why I could not go. First, I just hate going to doctors. Second, I have been really, really busy at work. Third, we have major medical insurance and today’s activities will go a long way towards cleaning out our HSA for this year; as we all know, those nice people in the medical profession do not work for free. -But still, I had a problem that was not going away until I dealt with it. And in addition, I realized that I could not deal with it alone; I needed outside help.
By now I am sure you are wondering, “where are you going with this Eric???” You see, I took these actions because I know what it feels like to be physically healthy, to be physically “whole.” I know what it feels like to wake up in the morning and have energy. I know what it feels like to “want” to go to the gym and workout in the mornings. I know what it feels like to be at work in the afternoon and “not” feel like I need a nap. I know what it feels like on the weekends to “want” to go do something fun with my wife and children. And I know what it feels like to “NOT” have to take a handful of pills every morning just to get through the day. –I know what “healthy” feels like, so it drives me to deal with my sinus issues and become healthy again. It is just that simple. *Knowing what good physical health feels like drives me towards taking actions to become physically “whole” when I am sick.
So here is the sermonette: This morning as I thought about my physical sickness while waiting for my test, I began to think about emotional sickness and relational sickness and spiritual sickness. I asked myself this question, “Do we even know what healthy looks like?” In today’s western, money driven, individualistic, superficial success oriented culture, does the average Joe even know what it “looks like” to be emotionally healthy? Or relationally healthy? Or spiritually healthy?
Amy and I have a pet-peeve. We dislike being treated by medical professionals who are not living physically healthy lives. Our rationale is, “why would we want to receive medical treatment from someone who is not doing their best to live a physically healthy life?” –Someone who is “not” a good “model” for healthy living by making healthy choices in their own lives. In this age of prescribing meds to treat almost anything and everything rather than advising patients to make lifestyle changes, we think that this is a very valid point. Sometimes medications are prescribed simply to counteract symptoms of other deeper problems that could be remedied with “other” changes.
I am not writing this post to attack the “heathens” of our society; they already have enough problems. I am writing this post to challenge my fellow Christians, my friends who are pastors and church leaders and the Church as a whole. We are supposed to be the ones with all the answers. Or, we at least we claim to know Who the Answer is… Are we emotionally healthy? Are we relationally healthy? Are we spiritually healthy? Do we even know what “healthy” looks like?
If we cannot answer those questions with a clear conscience and peace flowing out of our hearts in the presence of our Father, I suggest that we take radical action as I did with my chronic sinus infection. I admitted my condition, I refused to live on pain relievers and other Band-Aids and I humbled myself and sought outside help from those who had the ability to guide me on my journey towards healing and wholeness.
How can we be “salt” if we do not have any flavor? How can we be a shining “city on a hill” if most of the lights are dimmed? And how can we be models of emotional, relational, and spiritual health if we ourselves are sick? We all know the answers to these questions… we cannot, and it shows.