Thursday, June 9, 2005

Itching Ears

Last week I was coming down with an ear infection, and had an awful stomachache. I walked downstairs to visit my ever-busy bookend, hand on my brow, and explained to him that I simply must retire early, due to my tiredness and pain (do I sound as pathetic to you as I do to me?). He was very understanding and sent me off with 2 instructions: #1) Clean out your ears with peroxide #2) Drink a glass of water with some peroxide mixed in. I thought he sounded a little crazy, but I obeyed anyway, knowing that he'd been reading up on the health benefits of peroxide. I cleaned out my ears, drank my peroxide mixture as I listened to the bubbling chorus in my eardrums, and lay down, eager for sleep to overtake me. As I lay there, my stomach joined the bubbling chorus, and the bubbles seemed for a moment to be getting out of control. Wanting to contain the party, I wandered into the bathroom and read the peroxide bottle: "Contact the poison control center immediately in case of ingestion"! I was anxious only for a moment, until prayer and petition with thanksgiving overtook me, and I settled down to sleep. When I woke up, I felt so wonderful that I didn't even remember that I had been sick. :-)

Now, before you wander off, wondering what this has to do with itching ears, let me explain. Peroxide is a very basic medicine that's been around for a long time, and yet it seems that it is being overlooked as a potential help for many ailments. Many people, myself included, have run to the doctor when sickness strikes, wanting something (anything!) to fix the problem as quickly as possible. Doctors are very quick to prescribe an antibiotic or give suggestions for over-the-counter drugs which treat symptoms. They will do what they can to make your "pain" go away. But is it possible that they, in their quest for new and wonderful medicines which will take care of our physical woes, may not know everything? I believe that doctors and patients alike have too much confidence in our system. After all, if that worked, everyone would be doing it, right? I believe that we are missing out on many tried and true natural remedies because of misplaced trust and a desire for that "quick-fix". If you will, we have "itching ears", always looking for that new thing that will cure our physical woes, when often the solution is right there before us. We limit its usefulness because we don't believe it could possibly work.

A more perfect example is the salvation and blessings available to all who trust in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and Him alone. I believe it is taken for granted by much of Christendom. We trust in Him for the ticket to heaven, and then begin searching again. We search for some way to be victorious over sinful flesh by taking seminars, self-help books and various other well-meaning solutions provided by Christian authors (which, by the way, I am not knocking - there's a lot of good stuff out there today!). I believe that this can be a great distraction from Jesus Christ, in whom are all of the mysteries of wisdom and knowledge. In whom we are free. In whom we are dead, buried and raised again to newness of life. But we limit His effectiveness in our lives due to lack of faith. We don't believe He could possibly be the solution because it's just too simple. And oh, the aching ears today! (mine ache a lot, do yours?) If I don't scratch this itch, I might just pass out from the sheer pylethora of temptation assaulting me.

I have learned that taking my eyes off of the simple answer is often detrimental to myself and those around me. As my husband often says, "there is nothing new under the sun." :-)

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