A devotional thought on the flu
All of Montecito and Westmont College has been ravaged by some virulent, fast moving, nasty flu. As my blog of a couple days ago mentioned, I spent one entire day in bed, sleeping and drinking just water.
After last night's Ash Wednesday service I crawled into bed for a fitful night of sleeping, coughing, aching and cramping. Then, somewhere around 3:00 am, God got my attention in an almost lenten sort of way. "Don: welcome to your body."
I do not pay attention to my body. It serves my needs. I push it, overwork it, eat the wrong things, neglect proper care and it just keeps on going. I seldom get sick. I hardly ever know pain. I get up early, go all day, and go to bed late. I consume volumes of coffee.
But last night my body said: "listen to me!" And I felt where my hips join and ache. It was hard to find a good position without pinging pain. I felt my whole skeleton from shoulders down the back both ache and relax. I heard my lungs trying to get rid of junk with spasmodic coughing.
It was not terrible mind you, but it did get my attention. When my body speaks so loudly, it's really hard to think devotionally or to pray with calm focus. I wonder how many people I visit in hospitals and nursing homes can barely hear and speak through the deep aches and pains of their bodies. I think of those people who valiantly live out "chronic" conditions like arthritus or lupus.
For me, I know this will be over in the next few days and I will be back to my normal health. May I not forget this lenten lesson of the body.