Today – disappointingly and annoyingly – seems to be setting up to be another bad allergy day.
My standard line goes like this: “I only tend to have bad reactions to oak pollen, so that limits allergy season to around a month; consequently I only have a few bad days every year, so I really can’t complain.”
Technically, that’s true. But when it’s bad, it’s bad, and – yes – I am complaining! So, rather than spend the morning on my back with a cool, wet wash-cloth over my eyes, I thought I’d write – between sneezes (and, worse, the long, sinus-drilling wait for a sneeze) – and see where this particular rabbit hole leads.
Oak Oak pollen
BROAD RANGE: Allergies, according to “The Free Dictionary,” are “Abnormal reactions of the immune system that occur in response to otherwise harmless substances.” Otherwise harmless? Really? Do these monsters look harmless to you?
Looking at the various definitions of “allergic,” “allergy,” and “allergen,” the common denominators tend to be “irritating,” “annoying,” and “abrasive.”
Then there are a few other words that also tend to fit very well: aggravating, bothersome, carking, chafing, disturbing, exasperating, frustrating, galling, irksome, maddening, nettlesome, nettling, peeving, pesky, pestiferous, pestilent, pesty, rankling, riling, vexatious…
POLITICS: For some reason this last paragraph made me think about the recent direction of politics in our nation, and it occurred to me that I’m allergic to much more than just oak pollen.
Most irritating of all – wait a moment, my eyes are starting to water and I feel a kneck-snapping sneeze coming on – is this unwillingness to compromise. Have our legislators forgotten the give and take necessary in the crafting of the Declaration of Independence? Do they not remember how much “meeting halfway” bought about the Constitution? And even that amazing document immediately required ten quick amendments (the Bill of Rights) and – to date – 17 more.
THE CURE: However, and before I yield to this temptation to offer a bullet list of pesky, peeving, vexatious people allergens, I am reminded of this companion truth from my recent read-through of the Book of Romans.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us (Romans 5:1-5).
I guess I’m going to give all of those irritating, aggravating, bothersome, chafing, disturbing, exasperating, frustrating, galling, irksome, maddening, nettlesome, nettling, peeving, pesky, pestiferous, pestilent, pesty, rankling, riling, and vexatious people, circumstances, and situations to God.
And, as Paul points out later in the same chapter, I also need to remember that ”Where sin increased (irritating, annoying, peace-compromising allergens), grace increased all the more” (Romans 5:20).
Grace. It’s going to have to be my word for the day – DEREK