Strange question? Perhaps but could this be the reason why some of us are experiencing a conundrum of modern syndromes/unexplained illnesses such as chronic fatigue, various disorders (e.g. digestive, sleep, eating disorders), muscle aches/pains, etc? In recent years, these have left many doctors baffled. More so, us Christians especially as we fast, pray and bind the devil. But are we giving the enemy far too much credit when in fact we should be looking closer to home?
How Did We Get Here?
Considering some possible reasons for our allergic responses, I did consider whether there was a chance that as generations, we might have become inept in dealing with ‘life’ (some experts see this as a likely contributory factor). I’m sure past generations could argue that we have it easy today. And thanks to modern medicine, many parts of the world have seen the eradication of deadly diseases and a decrease in mortality rates. So what is the problem?
Personally, I feel our modern way of life is a likely culprit. Many of us face ongoing stresses and challenges. These include loneliness, isolation, broken/failing relationships, failure, disappointment, overwhelming commitments, daily pressures, unresolved emotional issues (past and present), to name a few, which seem to have gradually taken their toll on our bodies. Did past generations have to go through this? I think not. I consider my late grannies and their steady pace of life in Nigeria. I think of their powerful support network of their extended family. I think of the fact that they did not have to travel to remote parts of the world to find work or search for a better life – meaning they were not cut off from their community. When an issue came up, there was always an elder to open up to as opposed to harbouring their hurts/concerns/problems. Issues were aired. I think of the fact that they did their allotted work for the day and knew when to stop. When the evening came and they could no longer work on their farms, they came home to rest, eat and be with their families. And so, it is no surprise that I never heard my grannies complain of irritable bowel syndrome or fibromyalgia!
And so I maintain that a huge contributory factor in our modern lifestyles. It’s like we have become allergic to the very life we pursue or is thrown at us. It’s not that we are weaker, our bodies are simply buckling under such pressures – leaving us susceptible to modern syndromes. And so, whilst it would seem we have advanced in many regards (e.g. technologically), we seemed to be slipping when it comes to our health and wellbeing.
But is this Gods idea of the abundant life? Certainly not! Weren’t we supposed to prosper, even as our soul prospered? (3 John 1:2). Yet, some of us are a far cry from this. So maybe it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee before we do ourselves irreparable damage and cut our lives short.
Retracing Our Steps
So how do we tackle our modern day allergies? Just like a highly wound-up coil, we need to reverse the trends and scrutinise our lives. Whilst we can’t go back to the way our grandparents lived, we have so much to learn from their moderately-paced and balanced lifestyle. It’s down to us to take individual responsibility and manage this. We should consider what’s missing or what needs to be eradicated. Might you need to cut out the techie gadgets/tools that cut you off from human interactions and keep you perpetually working? Consider this: would you carry your desktop PC into bed or have it on your lap when relaxing with your family/friends? So why do so with a laptop or other device? I feel there is a need to build a supportive network of people who can help us when we are experiencing one of those ‘life moments’. I believe the church has a crucial role to play in this, seeing many of us are separated from loved ones. Such would afford us the opportunity to open up and be listened to rather than internalising our issues (PS: emotional baggage can make you sick! It’s been proven). And what happened to our Sabbath rest? If God found the need to cease from all activity on the seventh day, why can’t we embrace this rest too – guilt free?
In closing, I believe that when we face up to the realities of our present lives, only then can healing and restoration begin. God is NOT going to come down from Heaven and do it for us. We have to be the architects of our own health, wellbeing, and lifestyle. So why not take one action today to reverse your allergy to modern life?