Last week, I almost died.
My sons and I were sitting at the table in one of our favorite bakeries. I had promised them we would go there before heading out on our trip. Each of us had our pastries—smiling and talking. Then, it happened.
My ears started itching, then my mouth. I felt dizzy, short of breath, and weak. My body felt tingly all over and my stomach cramped up. I stumbled to the bathroom.
When I didn’t come out after a half hour, my older son came to the door. “Mom, are you okay?”
No, I wasn’t okay. I thought it might pass, but instead, I struggled to get myself off the floor. My own voice sounded far away. I dripped with sweat and couldn’t catch my breath, among other symptoms. All I wanted to do was sleep. But, we have to go on this trip! There’s an interview. We can’t reschedule. But I feel so tired . . .
“Tell the bakery to call an ambulance.”
An hour and a half after I got to the hospital, I walked out as though nothing had happened.
And, the whole thing was my own fault.
I knew that I had a dairy allergy and I binged on dairy for two weeks anyway. In the weeks prior to this incident, I had gleefully eaten butter, cheese, and ice cream. I absolutely love pizza and ate that, too. Twice.
The thing is my body DID warn me. I developed knotted muscles in my extremities. Acne flared up. My lower back ached. I felt tired early in the day. But, I didn’t pay attention. I chalked it up to my fibromyalgia and took more of my dietary supplement.
My lack of self-control nearly killed me and now, I can’t eat dairy at all. Not even a little piece of pizza. (Do you want some advice for vacationing with allergies? Click here.)
Lack of diligence=spiritual emergency
Just as ignoring a known allergy can lead to disastrous consequences for one’s health, so can ignoring potentially harmful spiritual habits. How are you doing with your spiritual self-control? How are you doing with your spiritual habits? Sometimes we stuff so much into our days that we excuse ourselves when we don’t have quiet time. Oh, I’ll get back to it tomorrow. What about when we don’t and several days go by, then a month, then two months? Before we know it, we can’t remember the last time we spent quiet time with the Lord.
Or, we join a Facebook support group and tell ourselves that we will only check the group once a day or once every few days. But, the phone dings us. It beckons us to add to the conversation almost hourly. Pretty soon, we are spending hours every day talking to people not just in the group, but on Facebook in general.
Sometimes it is a little habit we see developing in one of our children and we ignore it. Other times, it is a weakness in ourselves that we think we can control. Food. Binge-watching. Romance novels. Social media. We know we shouldn’t be eating from that tree, but we ignore the warning signs. We tell ourselves that we’re okay, but our consciences are troubled. Then, it’s too late. Are you in need of a check-up? Find out HERE.
Jesus is our EMT
If we allow these poor spiritual habits to continue, we become sick, very sick. In fact, we become so sick that we need an ambulance. We cannot free ourselves from the consequences of ignoring the warning signs. Like what happened to me with my dairy allergy, it is too late to reverse the damage and we need an EMT to bring healing. Jesus is our EMT. He gives us the medicine we need to become whole and well again, to get us out of the rut we got ourselves in. But, he doesn’t come unless we call him. I had to call the ambulance and admit that I couldn’t overcome the symptoms of my allergy on my own. When it comes to spiritual habits, we must call Jesus and admit that we need him to help us with our weaknesses.
Then, he will give us his strength, his power, to overcome. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. (Isaiah 40:29). He gets us back on track in our walk with him. He helps us be more diligent in our spiritual practices and more discerning in our choices.