I woke up today having dizzy spells. Probably a bug. It is pretty annoying because I'm so close to finishing my research work - ready to write. My director returns on the 10th from Crete, I need to have something ready to show her. But it has me wondering about why I have been so sick this semester. Seriously, I was sick just a few weeks ago, lost three days of research. And I have never been sick this often. Sharon is encouraging me to do a cleansing fast when I'm done. I think that is one aspect. Intense study has led me to not take as good care of myself as I should. So obviously that is one point. The other is that I've never worked as hard as I have this last semester. Sure I've pulled all nighters on projects, even sustained that sort of madness for weeks on end. But I really have had to run full tilt for months now, and it isn't letting up. Hence, my body is telling me that I need a sabbath.
Earlier I was holding my head and praying one of those desperation prayers - 'Oh God, not again.' It is frustrating when you can see the end in sight. But I also see several late nights in the library, banging out pages, sneaking sugar and coffee fixes. If you pray, I could use it.
The thing about being sick is that it is beyond your control. When the dizzy spells would hit it was all I could do to keep from vomiting. Now they are just dull occasional waves of discomfort that the back of my head. I like to be in control - but part of living life is learning that we are ultimately not in control. So much of what passes for Christian spirituality these days is about control. It is focused on us and helping us have the life somehow we've been told we should have. It is a funny reading of the Bible that lets us do that. Jesus himself is quoted as saying "in this world you will have trouble" but we seem to think Jesus was just having a cloudy moment. Funny, the disciples used to think the same think about Jesus' predictions of the cross - that was until they could no longer pretend Jesus was just joking. I think the same thing happens to us - we hit rough stuff and we can't pretent any longer. At least not right away. Getting sick reminds me of my need for Jesus. I need Jesus the realist who adds, "take heart I have overcome the world." Not so I can pretend life isn't hard, no, so I can remember who writes the last word. Jesus always has the last word.
Despite the sickness I will persevere. I'll probably have a rough month (again those prayers are appreciated). But at the end I'm confident that Jesus still has something to say. May we become less so he becomes more.
BTW Dan has a wonderful post on Lakeland, well worth reading.