Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The effects of illness

For the first time in a long, long while, I am ill. As in, for multiple days ill. As in me bride is trying to get an appointment for me at the doctor's office. I haven't been to the doctor since college - 8 years ago for an ankle injury. The last time I went for health was 11 years ago when I thought I might have had something like mono. Normally I feel nausous, sleep for a day, maybe take it easy for two - and that's it.

This time -- well. . . I felt a little scratchy in my throat last wednesday - so I went home and slept - and felt better. Thursday went fine. Friday, my day off - well. . . I was up at 3:45 to see a member who was having surgery at 6 an hour and a half away, and then when I got back, another member went into the hospital near by in town - so after 10 hours of running around on little sleep around hospitals I sat on the couch and vegged. And I started to spike a fever. I tend to run low on temps - right around 97.5-98. I was in the high 99s. But it broke. I felt okay saturday morning - and then, I taught adult instruction for 2 hours and then spent 4 hours manning a fair booth . . . and then I started feeling bad again. Sat on the couch - spiked over 100 - went to bed. . . fever broke at midnight - I had to change my sweat drenched clothes. Then Sunday morning comes - do my preservice stuff early - feel okay for around half an hour, and then start spiking again. Teaching Bible Study and do the service while feverish (which was fun) - sleep in the car as me bride drives me out to Woodward so my parents can celebrate my 30th (which was monday) - and playing Monopoly, I spike again, to over 102. Sleep on ride home, determined to rest on Monday. Fever comes, fever goes. Fever comes, fever goes - but never really leaves a time where I feel good. And today - oigh, I feel weak. Less warm - still spiking, but weak.

Mondays I like to get the rough draft of my sermon done - and then I tinker with it all the weak. Be not anxious is this week's text. I'm behind the power curve. Only a third of it done - maybe. I get tired writing it. Confirmation class is supposed to restart tomorrow, and I'm not overly prepared - and I may not be up to it tomorrow. All these things are flitting around - all the things that call out for attention - and the body fails, the body doesn't allow for it. Sitting up, typing this, I can feel the strain it has.

So what of this? All too often we place such burdens upon ourselves, we define ourselves by what we accomplish, what we do. I "HAVE" to get this done. In reality - no. Do what the Lord gives you to do - be Steward of the time and talents and treasure you have - and be content with that. One of the beautiful things about illness is that it can make us pause - make us remember that our lives are not defined but what we do but by what Christ has done.

Nights where sleep doesn't come because of fever - they put perspective on those nights where sleep doesn't come because of fretting. Days where you sit and your wife tends to you (that is lovely, by the by) put perspective on the days where you serve. Why do you serve? To your own glory? All too often, that becomes the case. Be served, oh servant, lest you become proud in your service, and your works become a bane to you!

And in all things, God shows love and mercy, providing the true, meet, and salutary daily bread to all of His children.

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