Yesterday my daughter was babysitting a couple small children, and she told them, "go out back and get all the red tomatoes."
Rather reacting like this was a perfectly normal thing to do—for, after all, tomatoes grow on plants, and we have tomato plants in our back yard—I flinched inside. We don't eat food from the yard! Dogs and ants eat off the ground, not us. We get our food from nice, clean places like grocery stores and restaurants.
The feeling only lasted a moment, and I didn't actually say anything so silly to my daughter, but it reminded me how warped my view of life can get if I don't regularly update my mind with the truth.
So I haven't been feeling very well the last couple days again. I tried a liquid diet for three days, making sure to include milk, multiple bottles of Ensure, and some tablespoonfuls of olive and coconut oil to make sure to keep my calories up. I was hoping to give my intestines and hemorrhoids a rest.
That was a colossal failure. Didn't work at all. My body treated Ensure and the oil like food, and I was in the bathroom every bit as much as before.
So last night I gave up and had an apple, knowing that would provide some fiber for bulk after three days of liquids. I felt fine before I had it, but I threw it up in less than five minutes. I still felt pretty good, so I had one of those pre-wrapped, store-bought ice cream cones instead.
I don't think it came off a plant in the back yard.
Learning Some Lessons
I don't know if the following will make any sense or do anything for you. I'm just telling you what I've learned the last couple days, which may or may not apply to you, help you, or interest you.
Yesterday, I was weak, tired, had terrible gas pains, plus the hemorrhoids were bad. I could thing of LOTS of things I could be doing rather than laying in bed, but I decided it was time to give in. I slept till 11:45 a.m.
When I awoke, I curled up in the blankets, and deep inside I curled up inside of God, too. I felt his presence, I felt safe, and I realized that one more time I'd gone back to running my own life. My "Entrepreneurial ADD" was in full swing, as I had 15 things on my plate at one time, all the time. (Sign for the top of the new building ... Finish writing up the lease to buy agreement ... How many tables exactly do we have in there ... Have to get the car back from the mechanic ... Need to do a Through the Bible blog ... Need to do a Thrilled to Death blog [this one] ... Email from an atheist I really want to answer has been sitting for two weeks ... get one son to get his tax forms caught up and work on a corporate tax return with another son ... update the progress blog on the new business so everyone else knows what's been finished ... )
I promised myself in the hospital I would never do that to myself again.
Yesterday I repented, and I've been asking God what to do in everything. It's a sick day today, too. In everything I've done, I'm doing one thing at a time. I can feel the Spirit urging me, "Don't pick that book up; you only have one task in front of you, the Thrilled to Death blog. And it's done when it's done, not in a hurry to get to the next thing."
Earlier today, I put something down I was working on—in bed, on a "sick day"—because my dad came in to visit. I took the excellent opportunity to visit, and then I went back to what I was doing.
Next is to get a couple Martin Luther quotes onto my Christian History web site, and after that, outline and prep an early Christian teaching on the church. That's the most I'll get to do today. The videos on apostolic succession—Overview, Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Cyprian—is sadly going to have to wait, but that's better than stressing over when to do them.
Step by step, always stopping to check if I feel at peace that I'm devoting my time to things that are worth devoting my time to, never letting my heart latch onto these things, but seeking to present myself properly to my Father in heaven as a living sacrifice. It is the route to the most incredible, perfect peace that carries one through year-long leukemia battles and the rough days of recovery.
Can any of you relate to this at all? Or am I the only one that gets so scattered and busy that I lose sight of everything else?
I'm not doing it anymore.
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you" (Is. 26:3).