Saturday, May 19, 2007

Heck Yeah, I'll Take The Pill!

Author Athol Dickson (RIVER RISING) asks an interesting question over at his blog WHAT ATHOL WROTE:

If you could take a pill to make your troubles go away—your weaknesses, your insecurities, your ailments and your moral failings—would you do it?

This is my answer: Well, duh. YES!

Be honest: With no strings attached, weaknesses and illness gone-- would you turn it down?

I'll admit it. Growing up sickly and self-loathing and depressive hurt a lot. Watching the heartache of my parents as they longed for their homeland while working minimum wage factory (sweatshop) jobs hurt. Being prone to fits of anger due to who knows what--genetics and steroids--hurt. Being a sickly adult hurts. Seeing suffering among my relatives hurts. Watching my father suffer and decline, having to wipe his butt, help him pee in a cup in public, suffering his brain-degeneration-caused violent fits, then watching him die in my house, that hurt. Worse were the years of my mother's chronic, debilitating, incapacitating illness, then a couple years of pain so horrendous that I'd stuff my face to shut out the pain of Heaven ignoring my prayers for her healing of intractable, crippling pain--that hurt like hell. Having my eyesight and hearing and health get worse with age...hurts. Not living up to the holy standard hurts. Thinking about losing my siblings...hurts. Worries about terrorists, church persecution, etc...hurts.

So, if there was a magic pill that made all the suffering go away, all that suffering due to sin and sickness and weakness and insecurities, dang it, yes. I'd take it.

I'm assuming there isn't some dire consequence like you sell your soul to the devil or become a sociopath or revert to infancy or something. Just more more suffering.


Gimme the pill. I want it now.

And for those who say that's immature: Well, what the heck is it that makes Heaven or Paradise so appealing? Is it not--beyond the utter coolness of getting to kiss Jesus and hang in the presence of his delightfulness--an end to pain? An end to loss? An end to sickness, griefs, regrets, horrors, aging, death? And an end to sin?

To be done once and for all with sin! Do you have any idea how much I long for that? It's the daily cry of my soul and the daily yearning of my heart.

An end of pain and sickness and sin. Oh, yes.

Puhlease. We all want the release of suffering, and so much of suffering is because of the illnesses that strike our bodies and minds (depression sucks!). And so much is due to sin: wars, abuse, crime, etc. And think of marriages driven asnder by insecurities that cause jealousy, secretiveness, lies, and distance.

So, baby, I want NOT to suffer. I figure that's pretty sane. I figure that's what we would have had in Eden had our foreparents not screwed up. I figure that's what we get in Kingdom Come. No more suffering and sin. Lots of good times and happiness. And, hey, banquets and singing and meeting the greats, past and future, who now also are free of their pettinesses and darknesses.

There's a reason Revelation 21:4 is my favorite verse:

and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.

Maybe I'm just a wuss.

Maybe I just get tired of depressions and bad breathing days and loved ones in excruciating situations and separation and loss.

Maybe aging sucks--the loss of sharp memory, the loss of great joint action in the knee region, the sore feet, the blurry vision, the tinnitus.

Maybe I'm tired of reading the terrible stories of suffering in Voice of the Martyr's magazine or in the newspaper.

Maybe I just want us all to be done with tears! God bless us everyone with joy and ease and eternal life.

Excuse me, I gotta get me get a glass of water. I'm ready for my pill, doctor.



carmen said...


Shannon said...

Okay, you've got me in tears now ...

Mirtika said...

Okay, pills for EVERYONE! No more tears. :D


Martin LaBar said...

And where did you get your prescription?

Mirtika said...

I'm hoping Athol sends me the map. :)


Athol said...

Mir, thanks for checking out my blog. But I did fail to mention a few side effects to that pill. Those who take it end up with far less joy in the Lord, with an unproven faith they cannot trust, with their spiritual growth at a standstill, and an immature and incomplete faith. I know it doesn't seem fair, but please don't blame the messenger. I'm just repeating what I read in God's Book...

"Consider it pure joy , my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:2-5)

"Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.
(Job 5:17-18)

"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy." (Ps 126:5)

"...we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." (Rom 5:3-5)

If there was a pill to end all pain without the side effects, I'd be right there with you at the pharmacy. In fact, even with the side effects, I've had many moments when the pain was strong and I was weak and I have tried to take the pill one way or another, even knowing about the spiritual trade-offs. But I've always regretted it afterwards because the hangover is awful.

In addition to the spiritual benefits of living life "cold turkey," I'm glad to know God will wipe away my tears one day, when HE decides the time is right. But every time I try to wipe my tears away myself, things only end up worse. So until God's time comes, I'm going to try to remember that He has a good use for my tears, and His ways are best.