Thursday, January 24, 2013

coughing up slugs

After a second round of antibiotics and a few sick days at home, I'm hoping to finally kick the sinus infection that has nested and spawned demon offspring in my "unusually small" Eustachian tubes.  Thanks dad, I'm so glad I inherited those from you.  No, really, it's the genetic gift that keeps on giving...

But the sickness of body seems to have mirrored an unusually long sickness of soul.  I just feel sinful.  Although this isn't a particularly sinful season, in that I can't put my finger on anything extraordinarily sinful, I just feel all itchy, scratchy in skin that is too small for me.  

So going through a dozen boxes of tissue trying to blow my brains out these past few weeks is strangely cathartic.  Yes, I know that's gross, but get over it.  I'm the one that has to live through it anyway.  It's like I'm getting out all the icky out of my soul.  Except the icky in my soul never ends.  Lord willing, this sinus infection and the constant mucus will soon come to an end, but I can't get all the nasty goop out of my soul.  It just stews there in all its slimy glory.



The first round of antibiotics and steroids helped me survive a trip to Puerto Rico with 24 teenagers and 3 other adults.  Not exactly how I envisioned the trip would go, but I wasn't about to let a few tons of snot get between me and warm weather and a rain forest and the beach and kayaking and....  Well, you get the idea.  

Three things happened in Puerto Rico that were desperately good for my snot-ridden soul.  First, I read the entire 100 Cupboards series by N.D. Wilson.  Second, I was reminded about the beauty and wonder of God's creation when I got to zip line through the forest, kayak through dinoflagellate filled water, hike through a tropical rainforest, and lay on the beach.  And finally, my love for my job was restored through heaps and heaps of laughter with teenagers over junk food and teen magazines and crazy life stories.  

I love a good book full of conflict and triumph and coming of age, which is just what the 100 Cupboards series was.  Sometimes I get a little jealous when stories have enemies that are so clear, objectives that are so straight forward and choices that are so obvious.  Why can't life be that way?  One big villain trying to destroy all of humanity and no one ever has to use the bathroom.  So simple, so clear.  Why does my life feel so muddled and meaningless in comparison?

I forget that underneath all my muddled up daily routines and flurry of self-inflated nonsense lies an epic story where my choices really do matter.  There really is one big villain trying to destroy all of humanity, but his triumph lies in the small choices I make every day.  Do I choose love and honor in a relationship even when I don't feel like it?  Do I choose to pour into Quinn or disengage? Do I choose to fill my mind with tools to equip me for the battle or waste idle time indulging in selfish fancies?

Sometimes following Christ feels like pulling ribbons of foul-smelling mucus out of my soul with no end in sight.  Like Ronald Weasley coughing up slugs - sometimes you just have to cough until they run out.  But at least I know why I’m coughing.

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