Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I hate being sick.

Fortunately for me, I don't get sick very often, but this Friday will mark the end of the second week I've been under the weather, which is quite unusual for me. I think it's mainly just my body taking its sweet time clearing itself out, so don't worry. Normally if I start feeling ill, I'll go to bed early, sleep a lot, and wake up the next morning back at 100%. The few times it doesn't work that way, whether I'm sick for a weekend or a whole week, it always takes several days for the symptoms to wear off.

Having been hardly sick at all for so long, I'd almost forgotten how to take care of myself, to the point of getting dehydrated and waking up with a frighteningly intense headache one night, which lingered for hours, until I took a guess and forced down seven glasses of water in a row, at which point it promptly disappeared.

While I was walking around holding my head, I remembered some of the many admonitions I've received to add my suffering to Christ's, and whatnot. I wasn't sure what to do beyond offering a simple dedication to God, so I just repeated "For You, Jesus" when it seemed suitable and hoped He'd take my meaning and my offer, such that it was.

I gotta say, though, that I am developing much greater respect for people who really have to suffer. As a boy who grew up camping in all four seasons, and as an undergraduate martial artist, I'm no stranger to discomfort. I might think to myself "Yeah, I'm willing to endure more pain for the glory of God and the help of others." When I was young I used to hear about stigmatics and somehow couldn't grasp that their wounds were as painful as natural wounds, and I thought it'd be great to be such an obvious sign. Eventually I recognized how much I was motivated by vanity, but sometimes I still have to remind myself to be content with what I'm given. Other times....I get sick like I have been these past few days, and it's all I can hope for to get back to my usual pretend-to-be-invulnerable self. Then I read about some saint who is bedridden for years with an abscess, or who can hardly walk--sometimes even someone who can stand to kneel in prayer longer than I can (let me stand or lay down and I'll pray all day, but...)--and I get a glimpse of how soft I really am. Oh, I suppose it's easier in a sense if someone's come down from On High to tell you specifically that you've been chosen to share a little of His Passion in some way, but there's a rare privilege. Some things I can handle better than others, too. I'd rather get a foot in the gut or a chemical burn than some of these headaches, even if it would mean enduring a greater absolute amount of pain.

So, I try to be grateful for the little insight, accept what I receive, and pray for a little more courage and maturity along the way.

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