Tag Archives: flu

run its course


I have a trait that my wife absolutely hates (man that’s a harsh way to start off a blog post). But it’s true. Although she loves me completely, she hates that I am an anti-panicker. What I mean by this, is that in situations in which she thinks I should be reacting quickly and highly stressed, I actually am taking my time and trying to think through every possible outcome and scenario…thus, an anti-panicker. Case in point: yesterday our 5-yr-old was on his 5th day of the flu and didn’t seem to be making any improvements whatsoever and we were getting worried. Also, thanks to the compiling voices and paranoia from social media we were getting even more worried, so we decided it might be good to take him back to the doctor/ER. As soon as my wife decided, that meant it was time to go and since she was sick herself, I needed to take him. But here I am thinking about all the other scenarios. What about the other kids? What about me being at school? Should I just wait a bit? You know…not panicking. Eventually she prevailed though and I ran him to the ER to find out that it was still just a terrible flu and that it needed to run its course (which is still never fun for a parent to hear, but I suppose is better than pneumonia).

Now when it comes to the state of the world around us, I guess I am a bit of an anti-panicker as well. Which drives others around me nuts. I have friends who are incensed about the political state of things. I have friends in the church constantly terrified about where things are going. I know people who think we have to have some sort of drastic resolution yesterday to heal the state of our planet. But I have a slightly different approach. At the conclusion of the Montgomery Bus Strikes, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quoted 19th-century abolitionist and Unitarian minister Theodore Parker when he said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” I like to remind myself of this quote when it seems like everyone around me is falling into borderline hysteria. The arc, the whole, the entirety, the full story bends towards justice. Maybe after all, there is no need for panicking, but for allowing the moral universe to run its course.

Now I’d like to clarify something. Does anti-panicking mean we do nothing? By no means. I like to remember a quote from John Wesley on the matter of engaging the ills of the world, church, society, culture, etc. when it comes to this. “Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.” In the gospel of Luke, Jesus said it in this way, “Instead, love your enemies, do good, and lend expecting nothing in return. If you do, you will have a great reward. You will be acting the way children of the Most High act, for he is kind to ungrateful and wicked people. Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate.” – Luke‬ ‭6:27-28, 35-36 I don’t think panic and hysteria and unhinged anger ever accomplish what we wish they would. But I do think goodness changes everything. And I’m reminded once again that the arc of the moral universe may be long, but it bends towards justice and as we do good we can safely let it run its course.



Sometimes there’s a word that keeps coming up in your world regardless of the context. For instance, as many of you know, the Arps are in the process of moving. And so on many of the boxes that contained our earthly possessions we printed the word “Fragile”. And not because we are necessarily particularly fond of these possessions, but more than likely because we cannot afford to replace said possessions. These last few days this term has also taken on new meaning to me as I became the victim of one of the latest strands of a stomach virus and realized just how “fragile” I was. There is nothing like twenty-four desperate hours spent clinging to a ceramic bowl to remind you just how delicate your body’s balance is. To think that the body can be completely disrupted or even destroyed by an entity that is roughly 1/100th the size of an average bacteria.* It gives whole new meaning to the word “fragile”. And yet, at this time of year this takes on even more meaning for those of us belonging to The Way.

Our entire faith walk is built around the belief that our God took on flesh and made his dwelling among us. The apostle Paul puts it this way in in his letter to the church in Phillipi. “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” – Philippians 2:6-7. Now let’s think a little bit about the gravity of that. God, who existed fully in the Triune form before the world began, chose to empty himself of all Divine Power in order to become human…in order to reconcile us to Him. He chose to embrace all of our fragility in order to redeem our humanity. This is a whole other spin on the huge expansiveness of Advent.

To think that God would choose to experience all that we experience. That he would willingly suffer through the fragility of human pain, sickness, weakness, grief, etc. in order to show us what love made flesh looked like is beyond massive. This is the gospel. And to simply call this good news is like calling an 8.0 earthquake a slight trimmer. This is the greatest, most insane, logic-defying, life-giving, death defying, event the universe has ever, or will ever know. And the wonder behind it all is that He looked at us in our fragile state and wanted to do it. “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:6-8

I know what fragile things look like. I know what it feels like to be fragile. And I belong to a God who chose to become fragile to redeem His bride, the church and I can’t think of anything more amazing to celebrate this Christmas season.


* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virus accessed on December 23 2014 at 7:36 AM

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