Weakness does not discriminate

Did you read the title? Weakness does not discriminate. This is important for two reasons:
(1) It’s true. We’ll get back to that in a moment.
(2) I lost my grasp on the word “discriminate” for about 40 minutes today and finally had to call the Informinator while I was ironing to try and describe to her the word I was trying to remember. The fact that I was ironing at all really deserves to be noted here, and though it adds Shock Value to the post, it doesn’t add interest. I’ll move on. So I called the Informinator. I had to wait a good 90 seconds to ask her my question, as two children had shown up at her doorstep to “scare” her. She pretended to be scared. Come on, come on, come on….I’ve got Brain Block, people.

“May I speak to the Informinator, please?” I asked, politely, though urgently.
“Speaking,” she answered, when the Boo Kids had moved on. (We’re formal like this, at times…)
“I need a word. It has left me. I know you can help me. It is a verb. It starts with a ‘d’ and it means to be prejudiced against or show bias or something like that.”
“Ohhh-Kayyyy,” she said, thinking.
“I keep saying the word ‘disintegrate’ in my mind, so I think it sounds like that.” Still nothing from her. I kept going. “OK, OK. It’s against the law to DO THIS WORD against people who are a certain race or gender or handicapped or something. You cannot _______ on the basis of race or gender. You cannot “disintegrate” on the basis of race…” I said.
“DISCRIMINATE!” She shouted out.
“THAT’S IT!!!” I yelled. “Thank you.” I was a whole lot more excited than she was, because now I could move on with my day. And now the phrase, “Weakness does not disintegrate” (I wish it did…) made more sense as “Weakness does not discriminate.”

Which brings me back to Point #1.

Weakness, as a state of being, is interesting. Instead of disintegrating, it actually infiltrates every facet of something. You break a bone and the muscle around it atrophies and the body weakens. If you lie on a couch for a month, which in THEORY should be GOOD FOR A BODY (rest does a body good), you turn into a sickly huff-n-puff.

I haven’t been on a couch for a solid month or anything quite like that, but I haven’t broken any records of impressiveness, either. I’ve been weak. And while I thought that was just a physical thing, it appears to attach its tentacles everywhere. Mentally, spiritually, emotionally, etc. As it turns out, becoming slothful doesn’t just affect the pants I wear. It affects how I think, how or if I pray, my reactions, my productivity, etc.

I’m not sure which came first and gave birth to the others, but my theory is that my lack of care over my physical health has caused me to care very little about all the others. Actually, it isn’t that I don’t care. I actually care a lot. I just haven’t had the gumption to do anything about it.

Until Tuesday night.  That is when I decided I was not going to let the non-discriminatory weakness control me. I was determined to control it. And while weakness is typically a bad thing, there is a weakness that achieves the opposite. By choosing weakness, in denying myself or fasting or something else that might fall in one of these categories, all of the things that have been chipping me slowly into an unrecognizable blob come into razor sharp focus. Where I was too busy checking up on Facebook Friend #156 to pray, suddenly I am too needy not to pray. I have to pray. And where I had allowed myself 2 hours of TV to watch, now I am ironing and trying to remember the words of Romans 12. The ironing thing still freaks me out a little. I’m working through that one. It won’t last, I’m certain.

I know the Bible talks about fasting in secret and not acting all “woe is me” and “Hey! Check me out…I’m fasting!” (paraphrase by Missy). I am not fasting today and I’m not in any way bragging. I’m just sharing some recent observations that pulled me up out of convalescence. In the case that someone else might be where I was, maybe this will help.

I have to remove some distractions. I’m not going to delete my facebook account or join a Trappist Monastery or sell all my iPods (ha) and go sit up on a hill and watch the sky. But I am going to rein myself in. The screen time in this house has been unbridled and that is just as bad as bad can be. I’m not going to declare TVs and computers bad. They aren’t bad. Like everything, they have to be controlled. And I’m not going to to declare that by Friday we’ll have this fixed. I’m not going to declare anything. I’m just going to work toward some things. I found a couple of blog articles helpful that I will be linking to over the next few days.

I’ve decided to try to “fast” from something every day. I have quite a few things I’m addicted to in some way. It’s no Betty Ford Clinic situation, but still debilitating to some extent. Some days it will be food. When you are hungry, you are focused and praying. And God knows you are serious. And answers come. Things change. Some days it will be TV or my computer.  Some days, as strange as it may seem, it will be music. When my car or house is silent, I think real thoughts and pray real prayers. Even music can distract me away from what I should be doing.

Maybe I’m just easily distracted.

It’s time to get back into shape. Physically. SPIRITUALLY. Emotionally. Mentally. It’s time to be back in control again.

Just so you don’t think I’m being all “check me out,” my 4 year old is sitting at the table eating chocolate ice cream for breakfast while watching Super WHY. (It’s dairy…and educational.)

Baby steps. I still have a few things to work on…

Hot Water

The other night, I was cold. A damp kind of cold that i could feel deep in my bones. The girls were asleep in my room in the mountain house and I knew it was a risk to turn on the powerful blast of the jacuzzi faucet that was right there in my room. But I was moments from a hypothermic death coma, so I decided to risk it. My feet needed hot water. Immediately.

I turned the water on. The girls stayed asleep. All was well. I messed with the temperature of the water spewing from the faucet to get it just perfect. I like very hot water. I’ve been told I have the skin of a gila monster, but this is offensive and makes me picture myself as a lizard so I reject this theory. At any rate, I got the water hot and plunged my feet down in it near the faucet. Ahh. Molten lava. Perfect.

Well, if you are going to get your feet all wet right before going to sleep, you may as well be clean shaven. So I started looking for my razor. It was at the other end of the jacuzzi, so I had to wade over to it. I couldn’t help but notice how much different the temperature was at the other end of the tub. It was 2 1/2 feet away in the SAME TUB and it had come out of the faucet just a few minutes ago. How could it be that much colder? I ditched the razor and waded back to the heat, huddling close to the heat that was pouring out of the faucet. It occurred to me that things are always at their purest and best when close to the source. You pull the hot water away from the faucet and spread it out, and it gets cold. You pluck the dainty little bloom off the plant and it withers up in a matter of minutes.

This made me think about Jesus. He is the Source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9). He is the Vine. I am the branch. If I remain in Him, I will bear fruit. If I wander off, the best I can hope for is to plunge my feet into lukewarm water.

Quite honestly, I’ve been too far away from the faucet for a long time. I’m going to try to walk back into the heat.