Have you ever been floored either by a headache or maybe being sick? Its the pits. What is worse is that while we may not feel like doing anything, we are often still required to do things or we are still thinking a million miles an hour about things we should be doing. You gotta work? Take care of the kids? School? The malady is indiscriminate as to what facet it will subdue to its will. I think though, for the Christian walk, the attack of these restraints can have additional intricate struggles. I don’t know about you, but the most I want to mutter when I have a headache is a prayer of, “Help me, God!” I’m not trying to debunk the value of at least crying out to The Great Physician when we don’t feel well, but I do think it is interesting to note what we feel at these low moments where we can barely think straight. I think we find out who we are at these low moments. I think we find out where we go when we are broken. For me, I have to say that my initial reaction is to try and push through the malady to accomplish what must be accomplished so that I don’t have too many detrimental consequences I have to fix later. Oh, how it reflects my controlling, lazy self. Why lazy? Because I have to admit, I spend a lot of time in my day trying to rush to do things so that I can collapse at the oasis of “nothing is required of me.” What a life though (sarcasm). Wouldn’t it be better to live in the moment, thankful for where I am and what I am doing, so that the couch oasis and the labor of work were met with the same attitude? This relates to the headache or sickness because I think it is the tell for what we are really after. I want to be a man who gets sick or gets a headache, assesses my capabilities (with thanksgiving), and then performs my best in light of that assessment. Life is choppy and confusing when we are performing either less than what we are capable of or beyond what abilities we are allotted. How can we expect to flow continuously in our sanctification, if we are caught up in this muck of performance? We all have heard, “A man needs to know his limits.” As a choleric, my issue is controlling. For the phlegmatic, there is a tendency to not take action when they should. Whichever end of the spectrum we are on, I think it is important that we make engaging efforts to pause when we are affected by physical or emotional maladies and really assess what we can and can’t do with what performance we have to offer. The rest has to be left to the Lord. If we go beyond this, as the choleric, then we are living a works-based life seeking security in ourselves. For the phlegmatic, we would be putting our security in maxims and other people and not the Lord. So if you suffer from an ailment, I encourage you to pause and ask yourself how this affects your security in Jesus Christ.
If you are interested in learning more about the personality types that I described (Choleric, Phlegmatic, etc..) I recommend Florence Littauer’s book “Personality Plus”