Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Self-obedience

I am always coming across the term obedience in my readings about my Orthodox faith. And the different opportunities that life presents to practice obedience such as obedience to a spouse (or Geronda or Gerondissa if you are a monastic), obedience to parents, obedience to civil authorities (including the law), obedience to a spiritual father (or mother), obedience to our children (especially if they are, oh, about 2 ½ as I am living through right now), obedience to a supervisor or boss if we work, etc. So many opportunities to cut off our own will and to serve others through obedience.

The other night (last Saturday evening, to be precise) my DH Paul and I were getting ready for bed. His insulin pump alarm went off. See, Paul has had type one (juvenile) diabetes for 28 years (since he was 2 years old… I cannot even imagine the amount of stress that must have caused his parents, but that’s a whole ‘nother post). And he is in very good control of his diabetes, thank God. He is on an insulin pump to help him maintain that great control. Back to the alarm… his pump was telling him that he needed to add more insulin. Now, adding insulin to a pump is an involved process, and would probably add about 20 minutes of work before he would be able to come to bed. But he did have enough insulin in the pump to make it through the night (but, on the flip side, that would mean going getting up 20 minutes earlier and refilling his pump before going to church). He decided to do it right then and sleep in the extra 20 minutes. Now you are all probably wondering why the heck is she telling us about her husband’s insulin pump. It occurred to me, as I was laying in bed, watching Paul refill his pump, that we also need to be obedient to ourselves. If Paul chose to not refill his pump or to stop testing his blood sugar or to eat bad foods, he would become very sick. If I chose to stop taking my meds (I have Lupus and a seizure disorder… we make a great couple), I would become very sick. So we are obedient to the needs of taking care of us. Does that make sense?

Some may argue that we are being obedient to our illness. I think that it goes beyond that. I think that we all need to be obedient to what makes us feel yucky (eating McDonald’s three times a day) v. eating what is healthy. This obviously does not mean that we can justify going to a spa or giving into indulgences because we “need them”. There is a certain amount of responsibility to taking care of our physical selves in the right manner. I don’t know, maybe I am just babbling (which I am, of course, known for).

3 comments:

Karl Thienes said...

Good thoughts. I think St. Paul would agree that we must respect and care for our bodies and ourselves.

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own..." 1 Cor 6:19

sara said...

nice reflections...thanks for the comment on my blog...i am glad to have found you!

Christina said...

Karl... Excellent quotation from St. Paul. Growing up, my dad wouldn't let us wear fingernail polish because of this quote:)

Sara... Welcome and I am also glad to have found you, too!