Some Thoughts on Pride, Flies, and the Common Cold


It’s quite true. Pride is still the deadliest of the sins besetting fallen humanity. As pervasive as acne at a Justin Bieber concert, sinful pride entwines its roots around and throughout the human heart, and only the Spirit of God can effectively deal with its cancer.

But what, pray tell, does the human race really have to be arrogant about?

I stopped writing a few moments ago to deal with an age-old blight and do some killing. Flies. I hate ’em! The only good one is a dead one, but it’s autumn; they all want inside, lest they freeze to death. And the fight is on! I know we have a few other weapons, but still the best and most fulfilling way to dispatch the little pests is to swat ’em. There have been, I’m sure, variations on fly swatters, but ever since a cave man rolled up his copy of the Bedrock Times and splattered fly innards across his rock coffee table, most of us have used pretty much the same approach. Yeah, we’re very advanced.

I’d feel “advanced” if I could ever make it through the holidays without a cold, but it’s early November (too early, I’m afraid, for this one to count as the traditional holiday sneeze-fest), and I’m sniffing and snorting and in a foul mood and generally zombied by a wide variety of cold remedies. I’m thankful for some of those cold-fighting options, but “remedy” is a stronger word than they’ve earned.

If I corner the market on kleenex, cough drops, anti-congestion pills, anti-mucous tablets, antihistamine capsules, anti-inflammatory caplets,  anti-cough syrup, nasal passage irrigating “pots” (therapeutic waterboarding), gargles, and a slew of other just general anti-snot pills and paraphernalia . . . I’ll get well in a week or so. Which is probably about the same time I’ll get well if I do nothing and just take the misery full on (which is not tempting).

I wonder how long it took the aforementioned cave man to get well as he snorted, coughed, and spluttered around his cave annoying (and infecting) his wife and family and making himself less miserable by killing flies? Betcha it was about a week. Very advanced we moderns are. Right.

But if you really want to see how far we’ve come, look at the human character. Just kidding, but a look is instructive. A quick perusal of just the ancient Bible book of Genesis makes it depressingly clear that not much related to the human character has changed. Take a brief glance at even those great patriarchs in that great account. What is most remarkable is that their worst flaws are not by our pathetic standards remarkable at all. The most serious blights of the human spirit “way back when” are the most serious blights of the human spirit exactly right now. It seems our souls are ravaged by a still-rampant virus only God can remedy.

I see ample room for humility. I’m sure I need a big dose.



Copyright 2012 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.


Comments are disabled.

%d bloggers like this: