Well, I'm finally finished with school for the semester. Yay! In fact, I'm finished at this school for forever. I have graduated and am preparing to transfer to a new university in the fall, exciting stuff! Beyond that, I haven't really decided what to blog over... I've considered the spiritual object lessons I've gleaned from my little brother's poison ivy (there are at least two. Don't you love it when God teaches you things even where you don't expect it?), I've considered a post on my summer plans (which aren't terribly exciting at this point), and I've considered a post on the wedding I attended last night (It was beautiful!). I think, however, that I'm going to go with the Spiritual lessons I've gleaned from my brother's poison ivy.
My six year old brother has poison ivy very badly. Currently, it is on the underside if both arms, on his abdomen, on his neck, on his cheeks, and all around both eyes (one eye is practically swollen shut by the poison ivy!). It is really quite sad to look at, however, I do have limited sympathy for him, for two reasons. First, he was relatively sure it was poison ivy when he picked it up. You see, he is one of those children who really doesn't comprehend the fact that he can be injured, despite the fact that he is on a relatively routine basis. He was out in the woods on our back property playing with some of my older siblings when he came running to my sister (12) with a three-leafed plant in his hand. "Look, Kay! Is this poison ivy? I think it's poison ivy."
"Yes, Layne, I think it probably is poison ivy, but I'm not really sure."
"Ooo... Look! I have poison ivy in my hand! I can rub it on my arm and it doesn't hurt me!"
"Layne, you should probably put that down."
"Hmm.. Okay!" and off he runs. Now, as I said, I've drawn a couple of Spiritual lessons from his experience. The first is that frequently we place ourselves in tempting situations because "I can handle it. It won't hurt me." However, frequently those situations do end up hurting us, sometimes in ways we don't fully comprehend until sometime later. Thus, Scripture tells us to FLEE temptation, not to flirt with it.
So, you might be wondering what the second lesson I've gotten from my brother's poison ivy is. Well, he did (obviously) eventually develop the poison ivy rash. However, initially it was only a patch on his arm (where he'd rubbed the plant, go figure!). However, despite the warnings of multiple others - myself, my mother, my father and other older experienced people (O, yes I'm experienced! you should have seen my poison ivy last year! I know what I'm talking about here!) - he itched. Now, something many of you may not know about poison ivy is that once the rash appears the oils of the poison ivy have actually bonded to the molecular structure of your skin. This means that, although you cannot spread the rash to other people, you can quickly spread it ALL OVER yourself if you itch, and he itched. Not only did he itch, he itched then rubbed his eyes which means that now he has poison ivy all over both eye-lids (it's quite a sad sight to behold). Now, what spiritual lesson did I learn from this? Sin spreads. Once you have a sin in your life, that sin takes hold, and it is extremely hard to get rid of it on your own. You might think you know how to handle it, you might think that itching it feels good, it helps to relieve the pain, but really you need help. You need to seek out and listen to the advice of your spiritual elders and mentors, you need to saturate yourself with Scripture, and you need to seek the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Because, once you've fallen in to a particular sin, you're usually far more drawn to do it again. It is, so to speak, bonded to your DNA. Satan has a foothold and, given the opportunity, he'll be more than happy to take advantage of it.
Thus, these are the deep Spiritual lessons I've gleaned from my brother's poison ivy. That, and some slightly less Spiritual lessons as well. Namely, if you see a plant you believe to be poison ivy, don't pick it and rub it up and down your arm. It's really not a good idea at all. lol.