Our Corner of the Kingdom
This column highlights lessons learned, a discipline exercised, and a call to prayer.
Tweak: For most of 2019 I struggled with what doctors thought was either a lingering effect of Lyme disease or a thyroid imbalance. The worst side effect was at least weekly for one to several days I experienced what can only be described as a light switch going off. My strength, ability to concentrate, desire to do anything, just vanished; the only thing to do was either lay down, or if it was a Sunday when I preached, gut it out for 35 min., give the impression I was OK, then go to bed for the day. My journal was filled with thoughts of needing to resign or retire; it was debilitating, depressing, detrimental to my work, and not fair to our association. When it would pass, in less than an hour “the switch” was back to normal. We pursued suspected hormonal issues for months.
On a recent visit, the specialist said mega doses of certain vitamins could inhibit the thyroid from its appointed duties. Upon a thorough examination of each supplement I take (currently on no prescribed meds), I was shocked to find out my Lysine tablets (inhibit cold sores) I thought were Lysine only contained mega doses of B vitamins. Since I take a multivitamin for seniors that already has large dosages of B vitamins, it meant I was taking an enormous, unhealthy amount. I stopped taking that brand of Lysine tablet. I haven’t had another single day of the weakness. That has been over a month; it has been like a new lease on life on many levels. All it took was one tweak of my daily routines that cost me nothing except to make a conscious choice to substitute one supplemental brand for another. Remarkable. How many potential improvements in my life just need a tweak?
Turn: This is the hard one. This may involve diet, or a daily routine, or dropping an activity. Repentance in scripture is basically a turn in a different direction. Confession translated literally means “to agree with.” It’s why repentance, not confession, is the subject of Christ’s first proclamation (Mk. 1.15). Confession is when a weed whacker cuts off weeds at the surface; repentance pulls them up by the roots and tosses them in the trash pile (John 15). A turn involves an alteration in behavior or lifestyle. It needs internal discipline and external encouragement to eventually effect change, not to mention reliance on the Holy Spirit when I feel like ‘what’s the use, I don’t see immediate results.’
Trauma: In some ways trauma is the hardest to endure, but the easiest to decide on; the decision is taken away from me by outside forces. Exhibit A is the current pandemic in our midst, COVID-19. Our churches, our educational institutions, our government, and our society have been forced to make changes thought in conceivable a year ago. As I write this column yet another named tropical storm is lumbering through the Gulf of Mexico for my home state, Louisiana, the seventh set of warnings issued for my Cajun coastlines this hurricane season.
Tweak, turn, trauma: When change itself or the chance to change is thrust upon us, human nature’s default mode is to stonewall them all. It takes some a lifetime to realize one of the few constants in life is change. The lesson learned about the vitamins has changed my life for the better; it took a deliberate, conscious effort to investigate, and an outside source (doctor) to provide a direction or option. The discipline is in persevering and searching for what is needed to bring about the desired result. The call to prayer is for our churches. The current situation will likely not stay static, but change; will the church be ready to preach/live the Gospel in whatever environment it finds itself