Learning through Life

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Hampshire, United Kingdom
I love how our day-to-day life can teach us lessons to help us understand our past, challenge our today, and inspire our future. We can learn through experiences, situations, conversations, songs, books, nature ... the list is endless! Live with eyes ready to see, ears ready to hear and a heart ready to be touched.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The one with the snot

I have a cold.  (Sympathy welcomed!)

After a bad night's sleep (or lack of!) - I am sitting up in bed surrounded by used tissues, a bottle of Lucozade, and a tub of Vapour Rub. My voice is croaky, my head is heavy and I also have a VERY red nose! (If sympathy wasn't offered before - then perhaps now is a good time?)

Why share this delightful information with you?  Because in my sleep-deprived-semi-delirious-snot-filled state (ok, enough of that now!) I think God may be showing me something ...

'Stop that sniffing - get a tissue and blow it' - can't we all remember being told this when we were younger? I can understand it; sat in a room listening to persistent sniffing can be incredibly irritating! It is right up there with someone cracking their knuckles, biting their nails, clicking their pen, rubbing hands across synthetic trousers, *insert own irritation*.

However, there is more to it than just something that gets under our skin, or up our nose (ha!!)

Sniffing snot isn't good for us!  When we are ill snot (mucus for the proper and polite) traps debris, bacteria, viruses etc and expels them from our body.  When we get tired of blowing our nose and start to sniff we encourage germs to stick around! So why do we do it?  A few suggestions ...

  • Habit - we have become so used to sniffing that we don't even notice we are doing it.
  • Effort - perhaps we don't have a tissue in our pocket and it is just too much effort to go and get one.
  • Appearance - blowing may cause our nose to become a little red (not a good look!)
  • Discomfort - as well as turning a little red, our nose may also become sore. 
  • Disgust - the snot that comes out of our nose grosses us out!
  • Embarrassment - we may not want to draw attention to the fact we have a cold, and fear that blowing our nose may give it away.

Perhaps you may have other reasons for not blowing your nose up your sleeve (ha!!) but I think the above pretty much covers it.

Why share this with the world today?

Because I wonder how many of us sniff certain issues back down when we know God wants us to start dealing with them.  God knows the thoughts, attitudes, hurts, fears, experiences etc that hold us back, preventing us from living a full and purposeful life with him.  But often, when He begins to take various issues on a journey of expulsion from our lives, we sniff them back down again in a panic. 

Why would we do this when we believe God knows best?  Why would we want to do anything to get in the way of God working in our lives?  Let's revisit our 'blowing' excuses and look at them from a different perspective ...

  • Habit - we have become so used to pushing the issues down again that we now 'sniff' without even realising we are doing it.
  • Effort - perhaps we don't have the required tools to hand to deal with the issue. We may need to find a counselor, a trusted friend, a book to read, a journal to write, forgiveness to seek, a different route to take etc - but it may all seem like a bit too much effort.
  • Appearance - we fear that dealing with our issues may alter our appearance for a while. We may become a little sensitive, distant, or find ourselves on an emotional roller coaster. 
  • Discomfort - allowing difficult experiences, hurts, fears etc to surface may cause temporary discomfort.
  • Disgust - we may find the issue that God wants us to deal with is surrounded by negative feelings / experiences such as disgust and guilt. 
  • Embarrassment - we fear that allowing certain issues to surface may draw attention to ourselves when we would much rather keep under the radar of others and carry on as usual.

In the middle of a cold, I am sure you can understand that this sniffing analogy is particularly pertinent to me at this time. But behind the cover of a box of tissues and a very red nose lies the reality that I know God has started to bring damaging bacteria and restricting viruses out of their hiding place deep within my soul.

Colds may seem to appear in an instant - but linger for a while. I know this journey God has me on wont be cured with a sip of Lemsip. It will take time and it is likely to get a little uncomfortable.

I want to allow God to expel the rubbish that I have been holding on to - but the truth is - I really want to sniff.

Perhaps you too are a sniffer? Are you prepared to join me as I reach for a box of tissues and try to resist the temptation to sniff it all back in again? God is bigger than the colds we experience and has the ultimate cure for them - but we have to stop struggling and allow him to administer it.

And if you notice a quick sniff coming from my direction - please feel free to nudge me and give me 'the look'!

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