My friend has type one diabetes. Several years ago, his body just stopped producing insulin. Without insulin, he can’t effectively process blood sugar and things don’t work right. As a result, he has a much greater risk of heart disease and lots of other life-threatening illnesses, not to mention the constant measuring and maintainance work required to keep the insulin-sugar balance on a short leash.
My body produces insulin in exactly the right quantities at exactly the right times, but I’m entirely oblivious to the whole process.
My friend has cystic fibrosis. His lungs are prone to infection and every 6 weeks or so, he has to spend a couple of weeks in the hospital getting a “tune up” of IV antibiotics to clear out the gunk so he can breathe better. On the other hand, he gets to enjoy a regular diet of high-calorie junk because his body doesn’t produce the enzymes to digest food effectively, so he never really gets enough calories.
My lungs burn when I run hard, and if I eat 8000 calories a day, I’ll eventually weigh 8000 pounds.
My friend has to take medication to keep her mental chemistry in balance, but it’s like a constant experiment to find the right cocktail of medicines to stay within the “normal” range and minimize side effects. She has a hard time figuring out whether the way she feels is real or the result of the medication.
I’m moody and generally confused about life and related topics.
My friend with a ticking biological clock is a single, bright, attractive, intelligent, successful, independent, spiritually-gifted woman who longs deeply to be married and have children. Single men are too thick, cowardly, and self-centered to realize they’re thick, cowardly, and self-centered.
I’m not a single man, so none of those things apply to me, right? I’m married to the most amazing woman and have the gift of 10 happy, healthy, beautiful children who daily consume every spare drop of energy I can muster.
It’s absurd, isn’t it? Somebody should slap me for comparing my silly and petty and trite and dramatic ailments to these others.
Words fail to give adequate exclamation to the things I take for granted.
Nonethewhatsoevermore (yes, I made that up), these friends care about me and worry about me and ask how I’m doing. They live full lives with hard work, high hopes, strong faith, loving and serving their families and others. They represent a small sample of the evidence of the right stuff being resident among us.
I get sad because I’m sick and tired of being sick and tried, and life is hard. Our dryer doesn’t work unless you lift the top off and give the tub a strong push to the right within a few seconds of hitting the start button. Our finances are ugly. Our house needs work. We have great health, dental, vision and life insurance, but we’re generally healthy.
Then, Jesus has to go and say things like, “take no thought for what you will eat, or what you will drink, or what you will wear, for your heavenly father knows you have need of all these things.”
So, what about my dirty carpet, or the leaves laying all over my lawn, or the kitchen cabinets, and the broken sprinklers, and the car leaking transmission fluid, and the election, and the dryer – the stinking dryer, for crying out loud? Can I – should I – take thought for those?
Sheesh! I’m the dumbest. Words fail to adequately exclaim my royal dumbness.
Thank God for good friends who will come to my aid.