Friday, March 13, 2009

Influenza, Gingko Biloba and Dropping Pounds

So last week one of the kids gets the stomach virus…all manner of vile things flying out of bodily orifices at blazing speed. She passed it to my wife, at blazing speed. I thought the dudes of the family were in the clear at this point, because we are usually the ones to kick off the sickness merry-go-round in our house.

Not so.

Around Tuesday I started feeling bad, then Wednesday could only manage a half day at work before coming home and crashing. Thursday I could not stand up without puking, Friday I could not stand up without…well, rushing to the toilet for disturbances at the other end of the digestive tract. I stayed in the bed almost 24 hours a day until Saturday

I noticed something about the flu, as I laid in bed marveling at how bad a human body could hurt.

I noticed what I did NOT think about. That is, the flu had my attention, and all other concerns seemed to fade away. For instance, I did NOT think about Barack Obama. Not even a little bit. I did NOT think about his opening stem cell research, or relaxing abortion restrictions, or socialistic stimulus bills, or earmarks, or how many of Obama’s administration candidates have had to withdraw because of ‘vetting’ problems.

Nor did I think about the blogosphere. I did NOT think about which Calvinist was being skewered, today. I did NOT contemplate how to make a statement on a comment string and actually have others address what I said, rather than what they wanted me to say so that they can stand proudly on their soap box and opine vociferously into the digital abyss about how evil Calvinists are. I did NOT wonder how all the other guys get such cool page designs.

I did NOT think about the stock market. Or Bernie Madoff. Or housing starts. I did not obsess about how long it could possibly take to sell our house, although I did briefly imagine that I overheard the following:

Agent: Notice the open floor plan, and how there is plenty of space
for every sick member of the family to lounge around, with his own
sick bucket close at hand.

Buyer: Where is the

Agent: It’s upstairs, with the bedrooms, which makes
it very convenient to collect all of the lenins contaminated with vile
things flying out of orifices at blazing speed.
Buyer: Is this
the Master?

Agent: Yes, and notice how the great lighting lets you almost SEE the
flu virus circulating around the dad as he lays in bed, NOT thinking about
Barack Obama or the

Buyer: I’m sold! We’ll
pay full price…in cash!

The flu, it seems, is a great clarifier of mind, when it is not inducing hallucinations about selling houses in a buyers’ market. (It’s also an excellent crash diet – I’ve lost 10 to 15 pounds each time I’ve had it).

Oddly, while there was so much I did NOT think about, there were a couple of things that simply would not leave my head. Psalm 23 and Philippians 2:1-11, to be exact. For almost 48 hours straight of my bed-ridden stupor I mentally prepared sermons on these passages. Introductions, conclusions, main points, transitions, illustrations…you name it. I preached those sermons at least 10 times each to myself, my agent, and our cash buyer, as they discussed the relative merits of our home amongst themselves. They were some of the most interactive sermons I’ve ever preached.

Why don’t the sermon preparation experts talk about this?

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