Posts Tagged ‘contagious

11
Jul
22

Breathing Lessons

WHEW!

Dodged another COVID bullet.

Joan and I just heard from a close friend – one we had recently been in physical proximity with – that she and her husband both tested positive for the virus. 

Fortunately, their symptoms are mild, but she wanted us to know they caught the bug so that we could go get tested right away. 

So we did. And – Praise the Lord and pass the nasal swabs! – we both tested negative. 

This makes probably the fourth VERY close call for us since the beginning of the pandemic. And so far – knock wood – we have tested negative each time.

So, what do you think; why are some people infected while others are not? And what are the factors that either increase or decrease contagiousness? Joan and I are both TRIPLE vaccinated, but I know even that has not prevented people from catching the virus. 

But since I have exactly ZERO training in medical science, I am going to move this question out of the realm of HEALTH, if I may, and transplant it into the realm of LIFE IN GENERAL. First, because I CAN and secondly, because I believe contagiousness is a relevant topic for us to consider… even beyond its medical definitions.

How about in the realm of MOODS, for example? 

I am sure you’ve noticed how another person’s MOOD can be contagious, either positively or negatively. When you pass that cheerful woman walking on the street, her sunny disposition immediately crosses the blood barrier and moves right on into your system. Suddenly YOUR step seems a little bouncier in a way you can’t readily explain.

In the same way, handing your credit card to the guy behind the counter who would CLEARLY rather be anywhere but here rubs off, too. His sour demeanor can easily become yours in a matter of moments.

And here in the age of information, IDEAS and BELIEFS can also be pretty contagious, too, can’t they? Most of us have ready access to machines that are capable of communicating with large groups of people, spread across a wide area. 

All it takes is a crazy notion with flimsy scientific support, a passionate belief, a few keystrokes… and VIOLA! We have successfully infected hundreds of people with a virus cleverly designed to produce fear and hatred of some unknown group of ENEMIES!

I hate to promote the gloomy view of contagiousness here, but lately it seems to me that the DARK and NEGATIVE viruses are spreading much faster than the HOPEFUL, LIFE-GIVING strains. I will admit that the negative stuff sometimes seems to work its way into my bloodstream more quickly. I’m pretty sure that “daily news reading” lowers my spirit’s defenses from these insidious viruses. 

The challenge I am setting for myself today is this: How can I be more intentional about my contagiousness? As you can readily see that challenge has two parts. First, how do I strengthen my defenses against the SOUL-SUCKING viruses, and SECOND, how do I assure that my positive, life-affirming germs are the ones I am spreading to the people I meet?

The Apostle Paul has some sound, simple advice on this, oddly enough. He says, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:5-6, NRSVU). 

Easy peasy, right? Just set your mind on the Spirit and life and peace are there at your fingertips. The operative phrase here being, “… set your mind…” 

In his letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul puts a little more detail in his instructions on the best ways to avoid the negative infections. He says, “Stand, therefore, and belt your waist with truth and put on the breastplate of righteousness and lace up your sandals in preparation for the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” (Ephesians 6:14-16, NRSVU). 

There certainly are a LOT of germs and viruses flying around these days. And I am not just talking about COVID. And sadly, even the best N95 masks are not effective against them. 

But as Paul and his mentor Jesus are certainly helping me understand, what I breathe IN has a whole lot to do with what I put OUT.  

Abundant blessings;




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