A Commentary on the Modern World


Lesson from a Sunburn
July 14, 2010, 7:53 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today I sat on the beach.  Sand in between my toes.  The wind brushing sand against my legs.  I lay reclined and chilled, simply feeling the sun beam down upon.

Ah. The Sun.  We have such a history, and it seems I haven’t learned from our relationship yet.

You see, the Sun and I have had a rocky relationship.  Yes.  Most of the time it just chills out feeding the plants and regulating everything from gravity to evaporation, but every now and again, I get in the way of the process for the sake of pleasure and find myself not too comfortable anymore.  Today was such a day.  I swam in the ocean sporting SPF 4 which was easily washed away after an hour.  Following my swim, I threw on a grey wife beater, and took to the highway to run down to Cherry Grove pier.  It’s exactly 2 miles.  Running down the highway, the Sun stands over my shoulder.  I feel its heat, but I can’t remember feeling as if I was going to get burnt.  Once I reached the pier though, and I turned to face the Sun directly, I felt my face tingle a little bit and my shoulders react to my stop.  I knew as I looked down that 2 mile stretch of my return journey that there was no way that I would get back to Ocean Keyes without a very unpleasant sunburn.  I was right.

Did you know that when I was in 5th grade, I got 2nd degree burns from the Sun?  It was the school pool party, and I thought I would not need sun screen. “Only pansies needed to be protected from the Sun.”  A day later my shoulders had blisters the size of baseballs on them.  Yes. I was revealed to be a pansy. I was miserable.  I cut the blisters off thinking that would fix the problem.  Yeah. It wasn’t as gross looking, but I was in torture after that.  This was my first terrible sunburn.  I swore to never be so dumb again but  have had many after, sadly.

Everytime I have gotten a sunburn, I always tell myself the same thing. “I will never be so stupid to do this to myself again.”  Yet, I get in the moment and start enjoying life.  Then the inconvenience of denying myself a simple pleasure or the laziness of just not doing it right starts to lie to me and keeps me from doing what I need to do to protect myself.  Then I go and say, “Oh I’ll be just fine. This time it will be different.”  Well, here I am again.  Burnt and unpleasant.  Then it hit me.  This is a very common thing.

I’m not talking about sunburn.  I’m talking about people suffering from something they absolutely hate over and over again.  But they do not take the steps necessary to keep them from doing it again. Girls do it ALL the time.  “Oh! Next time, I’m going to date a good guy.  The kind who won’t treat me bad!” Yet, they aren’t willing to do what they have to do to narrow their options to only get the kind of guys they want.  Then you have people who are trying to get off of an addiction.  “I hate feeling like I’m dependent on it.  I won’t let myself do this anymore”  Yet, you aren’t willing to avoid the people who push it on you, the places you buy it, or endure the hard times of life without it as a crutch.  For some people, it’s a relationship.  “I’ll never go back with them.  Never.  They are horrible to me.  I hate the way they treat me.  It’s over this time.”  Yet, the first time the inconvenience of being lonely comes up, you cave in and run back to what you swore you would never return to.

I am as much of a fool as any one of these people though.  I have suffered sunburns too many times to say I don’t know any better, and I have no right to yell or scream about how bad it hurts when the only reason I’m hurting is because I was too set on my own convenience and pleasure to just put some more sunscreen on.

So I guess i’m writing so you can say, “You’re an idiot.  Why would you suffer the pain of something you do not have to suffer, when you have the power to keep from suffering its pain?”  I hope you might ask yourself the same thing about things you have the power to change in your own life but refuse to do what is necessary to change it.  When these things are destroying you, God cares.  He gives us common sense and the power to change these things.  I hope me and you both work at doing that very thing.

“As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.”  Proverbs 26:11

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