Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Welcome to the Junction!!!

Allow me to sincerely welcome you to Straightjacket Junction! Whether you are here out of curiosity, out of boredom, or perhaps just because you hit the wrong button on your keyboard, you are welcome nonetheless. In the days to come I hope this blog will become a place where we can look at the craziness around us and make some sense of it. If nothing else, at least have fun with it. The topics will be highly varied; from politics to religion, music to movies, mainstream news to off the beaten path…nothing is off-limits at the Junction.

Since I see it as my right to spew words into the ether, I certainly encourage you to throw your thoughts right back at me. Just like voting in Chicago, I strongly urge you to comment “early and often.” I only ask that you be respectful. Not so much of me as of others who may be leaving their comments as well. I have no problem with sending your rude comment into the seventh level of hell, to burn eternally along with other likeminded comments and most of the Bee Gees lyrics.

As this blog progresses, and I actually figure out what I’m doing, there will be more features, links, and gadgets, so please check in often. So make yourself comfortable here. Feel free to kick the padded walls. Take a shot of thorazine if necessary. Actual blogging will commence after my next anger management session.

Practicing Medicine

This is what modern doctors do. They practice the art and science of medicine upon their patients. Doctors take the knowledge they have been taught, they look at your situation, and they practice what they have learned in hopes of finding a cure or treatment for your individual ailment. It is far from a perfect answer to all medical problems, as doctors and modern science have yet to learn everything there is to know about the human body and mind. In fact, what they think they know changes almost daily. So, they practice and hopefully they get it right. It can be quite a disconcerting thought if you are laying on a gurney in the emergency room that the people who are possibly responsible for your life or death are just 'practicing.' Practice is something we normally equate with something that is done in preparation for the 'real thing.' Most people consider their lives to be the real thing, having no fake life to compare it with. This is not to disparage doctors or anybody in the medical professions. They often do the very best they can with the knowledge and tools at their disposal and there have been many times I have been extremely thankful for their services. But still...their knowledge is limited and they don't always have all the answers for every ailment they are presented with.

This realization has very recently hit very close to home for me. Most people don't know that for a number of years now I have been living with a yet to be determined auto-immune disorder. I also lived through (obviously) a heart attack in 2010. My daily life is a long slog through sometimes severe pain and extreme fatigue. Despite being now unemployed as a result of this, I do attempt to make the best I can of every day God gives me. A couple weeks back my condition took a nasty turn as my fatigue increased dramatically and I have begun experiencing chest and back pain. Well, as is common nowadays, it took me two weeks before I could get an appointment with my doctor. In the meantime, blood-work was done so my doctor could see what was going on to some degree inside this amazing human machine which their files list as 'Sanders, Steven E. - Male - Age 49.' The results were not very positive in many respects. There is a suspicion that perhaps the stent in my artery is becoming clogged again. So, with all the haste of a snail-driven chariot, it has been arranged for me to see my cardiologist in about another month. He will then most likely draw upon his limited knowledge, poke around inside my vital organs and blood vessels, and, gaining some more practice for himself, hopefully come out of it all with a successful fix or treatment for what is ailing me. However, it is not my medical problems that I wanted to talk about. It is the Christian spiritual subject of Practicing Medicine that is on my mind today.

I think most Christians, and those of some other religions as well, would agree that human beings are more than simply physical entities. It is my personal belief that men and women are spirits (spiritual beings) who possess a soul and are temporarily encased in an earthly body. I think this view is supported by the Bible in such verses as 1 Thessalonians 5:23 in which the apostle Paul says, "I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." If this is the case, certainly this trinity of human existence is not always in perfect balance just as our earthly body is rarely in its optimal state. So I got to thinking this morning, which is always a dangerous thing in itself, if our earthly bodies are very often in need of the practice of medicine, how much more must our spiritual bodies require similar attention? After all, our material bodies are only temporary, whereas our spiritual bodies are potentially eternal. The question then becomes, what type of treatment is fitting for our spiritual selves and who is the doctor to provide such crucial care?

While whole books can be and have been written on the subject of spiritual maintenance and well-being, I would simply refer again to Paul who said in Ephesians 4:23-24, " and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.…" and in Romans 12:2,"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." Paul also told us in 2 Corinthians 4:16, "That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day." Jesus Christ Himself told us plainly who our doctor would be. John 14:26 says, "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you." So clearly we are to be renewed and transformed daily in our spiritual nature and the Holy Spirit of God is the one who will be there to teach us and guide us through our daily treatments.

One thing I find so encouraging about this is that, unlike the imperfect practicing of bodily medicine that we receive from our earthly doctors, who must draw upon the limited knowledge of their learning, the Holy Spirit draws upon and passes on to us the knowledge of God Almighty. He has created all and knows all. That wisdom that we receive from Him and put into practice daily is 100% reliable. We have no need for further tests or consultations from other specialists. God knows exactly what you need and when you need it. If only we stay in daily consultation with Him through the Holy Spirit and through the studying of His word, we can be sure that the health of our spiritual being will be in tip-top shape! However, the key phrase in our success is daily consultation. Every once in awhile will not get it and will often, as is common, result in repeated visits to the spiritual emergency room when we find ourselves suffering from one sort of inner sickness or another. So, as we go about our daily lives, perhaps we should consider practicing medicine of the most valuable kind. " My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body." - Proverbs 4:20-22

Have a blessed day!!!