I have had a cold for over a month now. It's physically wearing because my chronic runny nose keeps me from being able to sleep through the night, my head often hurts, and much of the time I can't breathe through my nose. I am so sick of taking medications that when taken continually can have problematic long term effects like stomach ulcers, liver damage, and high blood pressure. I haven't had my full singing range in quite some time either because of it. It is really quite an annoyance. In attempt to not sound like I'm complaining I pass it off as no big deal verbally. It's just a cold. I get colds all the time. It's better than getting Walking Pneumonia or Bronchitis or the Flu again. But that's not what I'm thinking. I'm so sick of this cold that on occasion I want to punch the wall. I want to take some magic pill to just make it go away. I think to myself, "Why do I always have to feel sick? Why did I get dealt such a crappy immune system? I know that I'm going to get some more severe upper respiratory infection in the winter because I always do, so why can't I just feel well now before the colder weather kicks in?" I don't know the answers at all, and I wish I did. When I really think about these questions another thought plops right into my head. One that convicts me to my core. "How dare I?"
I'm complaining about a stupid cold. Really? I don't cough up a lung everyday of my life and am only expected to live into my 20's like someone with Cystic Fibrosis. I wasn't just diagnosed with with stage four Lung Cancer. I'm never going to have to worry about Marasmus due to a lack of protein available to me. I don't have a life threatening addiction or am at risk of contracting HIV. I have access to the nutrition I need, medical assistance, and education that puts me at low risk for many preventative diseases. Not to mention that even in the case that I might contract something, I have the support of family and friends in my life that so many live with out. The fact of the matter is that I am one of the lucky ones.
So whenever I catch myself complaining about my susceptibility to cold viruses or the fact that I eat less that so many girls that weigh 125 pounds and I still don't look like a super model or that my back aches really badly I have to stop. I have to stop and think about the blessings in my life. And I think about those who are given a different lot in life, and I pray. I pray that those people would be able to know joy in their sufferings. That they would know God's peace in their hearts. That they would have the comfort of the Father's arms wrapped around them, and that they would be a testimony to those around them.
My whole life I've tried to figure out what my dream job is. I've wanted to be an actress, a restaurant owner, a museum archivist, and a television editor. But for what? Myself. To make me happy. That's not life's purpose, and it never will be no matter how much we try to justify it. Self centered people are the most unhappy. We were made to be in relationship not for our own benefit, but for the benefit of others. I want to serve. This is why I want to be a nurse. I want to serve those who can't serve themselves. Who, at that moment in time, are not as lucky as me. And I want to have people to pray for. I will never run out of people to pray for, but why not work in an environment in which I will encounter a new person to pray for everyday, every hour of every day? Then I know I will be truly blessed. That pesky cold won't seem like such a big deal anymore.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
Psalm 103: 1-5