Russ Ray

Trying to become more like Jesus

Course correction


Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?”

When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”—Mark 2:15–17 (NLT)

I took a sick day last week because I had bronchitis. I’ve had it before, but this bout was probably the worst of the series. I sat up last Wednesday night afraid to go to sleep, because I couldn’t breathe unless I was literally sitting up straight. I sat up that night watching old WCW DVDs and posting nonsensical tweets like this:

It hurt when I coughed… like each time I was cracking a rib. I went to the doctor the next morning, got some steroids, said my prayers, and ate my vitamins. After a nap, I felt better, and more importantly, I was breathing better.

That same Wednesday night when this all started, I was driving the girls home from AWANA when I heard something pop. By the time I got home and started getting everybody out of the car, I heard hissing. The next morning, I had a flat tire from a bolt sticking out of it.

On Friday, I took the tire off the car and realized it wasn’t getting patched. The tread was low, and it looked like there was some extra wear on the corners. Not only did I need new tires, but it indicated there was an alignment problem.

We spent Labor Day weekend at my in-laws. When we got home, we were greeted with green algae in the girls’ fish tank, covering the gravel and decorations inside. One Google search later, and now we have a fish tank wrapped in aluminum foil while we wait for the algae to die off without light.

Being sick is never fun. Neither is cleaning out your gross fish tank or trying to make arrangements to get to work while you have a flat tire. Despite how unpleasant or inconvenient episodes like these are, they are indicative that something is wrong. It may even be a surprise to you.

A lot of us try to tough it out when we get sick. “It’s not so bad. I can handle it.”

We look at our spiritual lives in the same way. “I’m not so bad, or at least not as bad as this other person.”

When you’re sick, what’s the point of trying to get through it without rest and treatment? You’re likely to make the situation worse and more painful for yourself. We should be running to Jesus for that same healing for us spiritually.

When it comes to being sick, are you a good patient or a bad patient?


3 thoughts on “Course correction

  1. Becoming a much better patient. I can’t fix anything with my denial and false pride.

    I’ve tried.

  2. Denial is the biggest one for me. It’s like I think that it will go away if I ignore it, but then it just gets worse.

  3. I’m somewhere in the middle – and I’m happy with that!

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