I’ve been retired a while now. I still suffer from the “know it allness” of being a teacher for thirty-five years. If you know any of us, please be patient. It’s hard to give up something that you have done for most of your life. In this journey of living, there is as much positive as negative, good as bad, and I’ve used this well-crafted personality trait to my advantage. As I have aged, I have become determined to employ my Science teacher background in co-operation with what’s going on in my personal health. This includes age related changes. So far, I have been pretty successful. I take no pharmaceuticals at all and am free from the crazy and dangerous side effects that every one of the market drugs has. Just watch the news and you will see one more recall, lawsuit, death because of a poorly tested or managed drug. Don’t get me wrong, some drugs can be lifesaving but my personal choice is to go down another path instead of being caught in one more of Big Pharma’s “oops moments”. FYI, many of the practices of American drug companies such as television advertising of drugs by name, are simply banned all over Europe. Gives a person pause!
So how does this have anything to do with living the life of faith? More than you might expect. As you work your way through the world of holistic healing there are many lessons to be learned. First of all, nothing comes quickly. Any healing/mending in the systems of the body via natural medicine takes a while. Sometimes, a long while. It is not uncommon to start a holistic remedy and not observe any results for months. In the meantime, you simply have to have faith. During that interim you must also learn to be very observant of what’s going on in your physical self, taking note of even the smallest changes. Next, one has to be disciplined. If the dose is three drops in water every evening, forgetting a day or three every week or moving the protocol to another time decreases the chance of benefit from the remedy. Don’t bother spending your money if you can’t follow a regular routine. You must also be willing to take a close look at self, diet, attitude, habits and be willing to honestly identify things that are not good for you. Fast food three or four times a week simply will not allow your body to heal and balance out, no matter how much money you have spent on that holistic remedy. Last, be wise and open minded if you happen to bump into a “healing crisis”. It is not unusual, if you are working hard at change by trying a holistic remedy, for symptoms to return, perhaps even in stronger form than before your renaissance began. Natural medicine practitioners will tell you that this is not a figment of your imagination. Scripture has a clear teaching about this occurrence:
43 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. (Mt 12:43-45)
There’s something about radical change that our physical, emotional and spiritual selves just drag heels on. The news about that, however, is not so bad because if you are willing to reject fear and accept faith, amazing things can happen. More than likely there will be some blessings that you never imagined could be possible if you move past what you see and be patient for what has not yet blossomed.
I find it pretty amazing that biblical observations so closely parallel the human experience. This is despite the fact that I studied scripture for years including a Masters in Theology from a tough Catholic theological institution. But, that’s the Bible. That’s what makes it so valuable for all believers to know and understand. Although, what I have described in the previous paragraphs was experienced in the physical dimension it is almost identical to what I have faced in the spiritual realms. As a matter of fact, I’m not the only one to see the parallel:
“[T]he soul is now but a blind subject, or, if you like, she is an invalid who, being ignorant of their virtue, experiences only the bitterness of her remedies. The poor patient often thinks that they will kill him; the crises and relapses that follow them seem to justify his fears; nevertheless under this appearance of death he is really gaining health, and he takes them on the word of the doctor who presents them.” (Father Jean-Pierre de Caussade, S.J. † 1751, revered spiritual director)
Soul and body take time to become whole. Do not mistake what appears as a lack of progress to be failure. Crisis has purposes that we have no idea about. In all cases, trust the divine Physician, rely on your resources. Never put your stock in despair. That is always the lie!