Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Drinking Responsibily

For some reason, unknown to everyone except G-d, I cannot stay hydrated like a normal person.  I've known for years that I need copious amounts of water to stay hydrated.  When I was on my TMI team, I was always the first in line to fill up my canteen and often the last to fill it up, because I'd finished half of it before we left the watering hole.  Not only do I require copious amounts of water, it's very hard for me to get re-hydrated if I get dehydrated.
Since it is so hard to stay hydrated and even harder to get re-hydrated, the only solution is to be super vigilant about keeping my fluid levels up.  If I let things slip even a little one day (which happens, sometimes I'm busy and only drink 2-3 liters), I spend all of the next day and sometimes most of the next trying to make up for it.
My body freaks out about not having enough fluid.  Big time. I won't go into all the icky personal details of what happens when my body freaks out, but if you really want to know, google dehydration and read the signs and symptoms of moderate to severe dehydration.  (you know, that part where they start to say "consider medical attention")
Anyhow, if I catch dehydration in time and listen to my body,  I can fix it on my own. It involves oodles of water, diluted Gatorade (gross!) and Pedialyte (even groser!), but  I can fix it, if I'm careful.  If I'm not careful, I end up in the ER for IV fluids and sometimes a jump start of potassium and/or crazy strong anti-nausea meds.
Sometimes I wish my spiritual life-ometer would freak out as much as my hydration-ometer does when I slack off a little bit.  It's easy to let spiritual growth slide. To skip personal devotions once in awhile, to roll over instead of going to church, to just shoot up a quick breath of a prayer to G-d instead of really spending time with him. And, at least for me, nothing happens.  At least not right away.
If I'm not diligent it doesn't start to bug me until a couple days in.  Then I get cranky.  Eventually I'll figure out what's wrong and dive back into the Word like a desert traveler whose canteen ran dry the day before.   I gorge myself on it and eventually it feels good. (note: if you are rehydrating, go slow.  otherwise you throw it up.  Thankfully, scripture doesn't pose that problem).
What would it look like if we had a spiritual life-ometer that worked like our body's dehydration-ometer?  What if something told us right away if we were letting things slide?  How would it be different if there was threat of an IV if you let things slide too much?
These are things I wonder.
Now I'm going to get back to work at boosting fluid levels.

No comments: