A good friend of mine wrote a great post for his new blog and it is fantastic. Read it below and let me know what you think.
Anyone who’s ever been to the hospital with an infected cut knows they don’t want to go to the hospital with an infected cut. At least in my experience, hospital attendants will rip it back open and scrub it out with a brush, in order to kill the infection. Presumably, anyone who’s gone through this would take special precautions when first dressing a new wound, in order to prevent infection.
A commonly employed practice of preventing infection in minor wounds (I don’t know what they do at the hospital) is to use an antiseptic wipe of some sort when first dressing the wound. Though there are antiseptic products that don’t hurt too much when applied, such as hydrogen peroxide or benzalkonium chloride, I prefer the old standard isopropyl alcohol. Being diabetic, I use it all the time for finger sticks and the like, and always have plenty on hand. It hurts like the dickens when applied, but there’s never any question of whether or not it’s doing its job. Due to the intense pain involved, one will certainly be aware if there’s been a thorough application of the product. Thus, one should be fairly confident of their protection from possible infection.
I’ve never been one to believe that being a Christian would make life easier. I’m thoroughly convinced that an easy life is utterly pointless. One is never forced to grow as a person, to challenge their beliefs or ideas, to seek out information or debate, to take a good hard look in the mirror and assess honestly what they see. It’s when we’re pushed to our limits that we find out who we truly are on the inside. These situations show us our wealth of inner strength, or lack thereof.
Undoubtedly, men and women who strive to be Christ like will be convicted in their hearts of sins in this or that regard. Christian life will undoubtedly require us to change our lives, inside and out. Anything less suggests some level of self-righteousness, negating the necessity to seek our perfect deity. In some cases, these changes are rather superfluous, affecting our day to day lives in a minimal way. However, some of these changes are much easier said than accomplished. In some cases, these changes can require years of work (mostly on God’s part) and result in drastic changes to our outlook on life, attitudes, behaviors, etc. The list goes on and on.
I grew up amongst a constant deluge of contextually questionable content presented on a nightly basis on the television (not necessarily in my mother’s house, I refer more to the general state of the industry). On a daily basis the radio would sing its message of rampant sexual promiscuity and drug use, with a vocabulary to blanch even the most rugged of sailors. Though the standards of pop culture and the media at large stand in stark contrast to the values I hold dearest to my heart and the standard to which I aspire, nevertheless I experience strong affinity towards even some of the worst of the machinations churned out by the mainstream media. Everyone has a favorite song, or a favorite movie, and somehow I doubt that they would react cheerfully when told that they could never enjoy it again. The cut-and-dry nature of good and evil can make the path toward His righteousness seem fairly clear, but following it can carry a sting of loss in this particular regard. It’s almost like cutting off little pieces of yourself and leaving them along the road of life, leaving behind a bizarro world version of Hansel & Gretel’s bread crumb trail, leading back to a life of darkness and despair.
Amidst the discomfort of relinquishing joys of days past in anticipation of a brighter future, a strange sense of comfort emerges. While I can’t be completely convinced to enjoy giving up some of my favorite pastimes or long-time musical or movie favorites, ultimately the presence of the Creator and the work He’s doing in my life becomes clearer than at most times. In the midst of personal sacrifice, gratitude wells in my heart for the sacrifice of the Savior, and what He gave to be close to me. Suddenly I am thankful in parting with the baggage of my heart, and making way for the Lord to use me as He sees fit. Like the alcohol burning in a deep cut lets me know I’ll be protected from infections, the burning in my heart lets me know that God is working on me, and that His plan will be much greater than I ever could have hoped for. Thank you, Lord.
But we all. with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. -2 Corinthians 3:18
Michael Nelson 2008