Sickness is inevitable. Literally, none of us is immune. Yet I always find it a complete shock when I find myself in a feverish state, shivering under a pile of blankets on the couch.
This week, I came down with the dreaded flu. I followed my typical pattern of alternating between complete despair and delirium. Only people who have seen the Netflix show “Stranger Things” will understand this but whenever I closed my eyes for the first two days, I had visions that I was in the “Upside down world”.
Rather than waste an experience like that, I thought I would share a few of the lessons that I learned. Here they are in no particular order.
We live in a broken world
Things are not as they should be. A lot of us recognize this intellectually but the experience of sickness drives it home in a way that simply thinking about it can’t.
During the week, my friend Jim sent me an article with the title “Death is Never Natural”. It was a piece about how all death should shock us and make us feel uncomfortable. God didn’t design our world with death as a part of the plan. Each of us innately knows that in our core.
Sickness touches on the same theme. It is part of living in a broken world and reminds us that the beautiful design we were created for has been marred. We long to live in the world as it used to be.
Life goes on without me
I often overestimate my importance. This hit me as I was waiting in my car in the Wegmans parking lot. My wife Laura was picking up my Tamiflu prescription because I was too embarrassed to go into the store with the mask I was given at the doctor’s office (I looked like a walking emoji). I observed all the people walking by and thought to myself, “How are these people functioning?!”
When I’m not sick, my life is often filled with running around from one activity to the next. Honestly, a lot of the time I think all this hectic movement is really important. It’s only when I can’t do it all, I realize I’m not as critical to world survival as I like to imagine.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
Like a lot of guys, I like to think I have the invincibility of Wolverine or Superman. Why get a flu shot? My finely tuned body will heal itself right away or any virus will simply bounce right off me.
Bad news. I’m not Wolverine or Superman. I’m not even Antman. I have no superpowers. The humility to admit that ahead of time and get a flu shot would have made this whole ordeal a LOT different. There is strength in humility.
The truth about walking with God is sometimes our biggest lessons come in the times when we are at our lowest.
Now get out there and get your flu shot!