Special-Tea: Genesis 35
Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. — 2 Corinthians 7:1 (NIV)
Every day we consume or inhale impurities — from the food we eat, the beverages we drink and the air we breathe.
Take, for instance, the recent flap about the discovery of cyanide in apples and apple products. Or the article that’s being passed along on Facebook — “Do you know what’s really in your tea?”* According to Food Babe, that little bag of tea may contain cancer-causing pesticides that were sprayed on tea leaves prior to harvesting, as well as soy lecithin, “artificial” and “natural” ingredients that aren’t identified, and “hidden GMOs” (“genetically modified organisms”). And don’t forget the paper bags themselves may contain harmful materials.
If that isn’t enough, we have to worry about mercury in fish and fish products, chemicals in city water and pollutants that seep into well water, and aluminum in body lotions and deodorant. And don’t forget all the recent recalls.
Then there’s the air we breathe. Out here in the country, the air is fairly clean. But I gag when I get stuck behind a vehicle belching diesel fumes. And I can’t figure out why health-conscious runners choose a busy highway for a running path. With every breath they’re inhaling exhaust fumes.
No matter how we try to avoid it, modern life serves up plenty of toxicity that works its way into even the most careful body.
That’s why I detox occasionally. First, I drink a cup of detox tea that, according to the label, contains only herbs and natural ingredients. Then I soak for half an hour in a tub of warm water into which I’ve poured a cup of either Epsom salts or baking soda (and bubble bath, too, of course). Within a few minutes of submersing myself, the water turns murky from heavy metals like aluminum and mercury being drawn out through my skin.
Detox should be done monthly to remove impurities, but I’m not that conscientious. I detox when I feel my body lagging. Does it make me feel better, renew my energy? I’d like to think so.
My spirit needs detoxed, too. Everyday living comes with enough impurities to make my spirit murky and lagging. Toxicity sneaks in through attitudes, unchecked reactions, words and deeds that do more harm than good.
I don’t need to list examples. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. How do we detox spiritually?
What did Jacob tell his family to do in today’s reading? First, to get rid of the foreign gods they’d hidden in their tents. Second, to purify themselves — bathe their sweaty, wilderness-dusty bodies. Third, change their clothes.
We must do the same: Get rid of the idols that have nudged God out of first place, confess the sins that cling to our world-smudged hearts and don the pure robe of righteousness only Christ can give.
We can’t keep the toxic out of the world around us, but we can keep it from poisoning our bodies, minds and spirits.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23, 24). Amen.