My wife and I have been blessed with six kids. Yes, six. (No, we’re not Catholics or Mormons. Yes, we know how this happens.) For years I’ve battled an incredibly powerful gag reflex, and as a first time Dad years ago, I dreaded dirty diapers like the plague. The not so fresh aroma and the texture of a baby’s poo forced me into the bombastic throes of choking every time I attempted to change a “doody.” One occasion in particular stands out in my mind.
A few years ago my wife taught piano lessons. Before she embarked upon this venture with private students, she confirmed I would watch the kids during these half-hour sessions. I shouldered that responsibility, all the while praying without ceasing that our little ones would only go potty and not poo-poo. One day about fifteen minutes into a piano lesson, my son absolutely destroyed his diaper. I was tempted to shout for reinforcements, call 911, or hose him off outdoors, but thought better of those ideas. This. Was. My. Job. I rifled through the diaper bag and found a diaper and wipes, then I wadded up a handkerchief and shoved it into my mouth in hopes to quell the gag reflex.
It didn’t work.
As I opened the diaper, my gagging launched into overdrive. Within seconds, I sprinted to the bathroom, and for the very first time vomited because of mys son’s digestive byproduct. After cleaning up and throwing cold water on my face, I heard Delaina giggling, informing the student that I was fine…I was just changing a diaper. She laughs about that to this day. Me? Not so much.
Did you know there’s something that prompts God to vomit?
“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:14 – 16
A lukewarm faith turns God’s stomach.
Many Christians go through the motions. They attend Church on Sunday morning, essentially stamping their time card. These same parishioners shake the Pastor’s hand and thank him for the message, thinking very little about their walk with Jesus until the next Sunday morning rolls around. Other Christians treat Jesus as a genie in a bottle, calling on His help in times of crisis. Some believers talk a good game in the small group Bible study group, but during the week it’s difficult to differentiate between their lifestyle and the behavior choices of their lost neighbors.
This activates God’s gag reflex.
We are called to take up our Cross and follow Jesus. Today, people of all backgrounds and ideologies find the cross fashionable, wearing it as ornamentation on their ears or around their necks. I think many have forgotten the significance of the Cross. In Jesus’ day, the cross symbolized one thing and one thing only, death. When Jesus instructed His disciples to take up their crosses and follow Him, they didn’t rush back to their wives’ jewelry box. No, they understood Jesus was talking about sacrifice…dying to self…putting Christ first. Lukewarm Christians fail to see the need for sacrifice, and this causes God to be queasy. Let’s live in such a way we don’t cause God to gag.
Have I overcome the gagging when changing a diaper? It’s taken several years…and handkerchiefs, but for the most part, yes. Changing someone else’s baby? Now THAT’S another story.