Thursday, October 27, 2011

The 4-Dwarf Cold

Today I noticed that I have a cold.  Not just any cold, mind you, but a genuine four-dwarfer.

My husband and I began long ago to weigh our colds on the dwarfiness-scale.  Snow White (we decided) was not the only one who spent time with seven little guys.   Sneezy arrived at my house this very morning.  Sleepy is here as well, and throughout the day I’ve been more and more aware of Dopey.  And lo and behold, even as I write this, I’m feeling Grumpy pounding on the door.  Yep, I have a four dwarf-cold, all right.  I just hope it doesn’t go into a five-dwarfer, meaning I’ve had to call in the Doc.  But of course, it will all be over in a few weeks; then I should be Happy enough.  

And I really should be Bashful admitting this to you.  

In a letter from (the real) Paul, I read:  “We even boast of our afflictions!  We know that affliction makes for endurance, and endurance for tested virtue, and tested virtue for hope.”  (Romans 5:3-4)  Now, a cold is usually no huge deal in the grand scheme of things – not like the afflictions Paul had to endure.  But sometimes, when the throat burns and the head pounds and muscles cry out for rest, the tasks of daily life can feel a bit…. challenging.  I am helped in times of physical hassles when I remember the behavior of Paul and Silas in prison.  They’d been dragged, beaten, thrown into chains.  Their muscles must have throbbed with pain, their skin would have been scraped and burned.  Then, “about midnight…Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God…” (Acts 16:25).  Chained, imprisoned, sore, they were praying and singing hymns.  Their fellow prisoners listened, and an earthquake opened the doors and shook off everyone’s chains.  

I think of this tonight and realize I have a challenge before me.  I have a cold and various “aches and pains.”  Am I letting Grumpy get the upper hand?

Sneezy, Dopey and Sleepy come whether I want them to or not.  Grumpy knocks, but he can’t settle in for a visit unless I open the door.  As grumpy as I may FEEL, I can make the choice to be as kind (or at least as silent!) as I am able.  I can pray, and in my heart I can sing hymns of praise to God.  

If I do this, I have a feeling Grumpy might just limp on away…..