Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Things Worse Than Depression
Yes, there are things (many?) worse than depression. I'm experiencing one of those right now. Sunday, minutes after I awakened, I began to sneeze uncontrollably. One after another after another. Teresa covered her ears and the dog started to bark. My sneezes are of the Olympic variety. If they ever form a team of sneezers, I'm sure that they will make me captain. And when the dust has settled, I will wear the gold.
If I don't catch my sneezes in a towel or something durable, I'm likely to blow a hole in the sheet rock. I sneezed outside one time and the tornado sirens went off. It's no fun being a champion sneezer. It's hard to find people brave enough to be your friend.
As you probably have guessed, I have a bad cold. Three days have passed, and I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. Some twisted person has called this the "common" cold. It's only common if someone else has it, but if it is yours, then it's uncommonly bad.
As I reclined in bed last night, I contemplated the meaning of it all. Now, I know that God has a purpose for everything that He created. I don't always see the purpose, but that doesn't change the fact that God has His reasons. Seriously, why did He have to bring into being the leeches and mosquitoes and chicks and tiggers? Some would say that we could also do without snakes and spiders and rats. Where can I find meaning in all of this?
I don't know. (Three of the most important words in the world.) What I pondered was the question of why the Creator created the "common" cold. Great advances have been made in science and in the treatment of cancer and diabetes and heart disease, but we have failed to find a cure for the cold. Why is that?
One possible answer has come to me. Maybe God created the cold to keep us humble. No matter how beautiful or strong or intelligent or rich or powerful you are, you still have no control over a cold. You can't buy it away or wish it away or even pray it away. At some point, you have to be humbled by that. As it is written, "A man's pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor (Proverbs 29:23)."
Some of us (maybe all) have to be broken so we can be mended. Pride is at the root of many of our problems. Pride creates a barrier between us and God. I believe that throughout the history of mankind, more wars have been fought because of pride that any other reason. Maybe the common cold is the Lord's form of biological warfare against all forms of pride. I don't know (three very important words).
I do know this. The common cold brings me low. It breaks me in ways that nothing else can. Truly, if I had to live with a cold for as many years as I've lived with depression, I would probably step in front of a bus. There are definitely things that are worse than depression. I thank God that my colds are of reasonably short duration. If I had to live with one for a very long time, I would certainly be...well...depressed.
["I'm so low, I could do a ten minute free-fall off the edge of a dime."]