Weekly Articles

Heeding the Warning System of our Conscience

Our vacation provided us many chances to enjoy the outdoors with its summer
weather of hot temperatures, humid air, sizzling sidewalks, and blistering sun. Our built-in
thermostats would warn us of over exposure, and we would take precautions such as extra
water, sun screen, and – my favorite – heading indoors to the air conditioning. After enjoying
two weeks and compensating for family that ranged in age from seniors to toddlers, we
succeeded in avoiding sunburns and sunstroke.
Our favorite outdoor activity was, undoubtedly, swimming; because we are all water
lovers. The pool at our condominium was amazing. It offered a lazy river, water slides, little-
tikes jumping waters, hot tubs, fountains, and a beautiful pool. My husband and I tried to stay
up with the activities of the grandbabies, but there were times when we would choose the lazy
river and confer upon our children the privilege of keeping up with the energy output of their
children. The lazy river would push us along at a leisurely pace while we floated in an inner
tube. No feet kicking, arm stroking, or laborious swim techniques were required. It was
effortless entertainment, easy enjoyment, relaxing recreation.
The river was constructed of concrete and designed so that the bottom of the canal was
sufficiently rough to provide traction and guarantee that the swimmer would not slip.
Numerous times throughout the day, my husband would forgo his floating to engage in river
races with the kids. The goal was always to run through the waterway and beat the children,
who were half his size with twice his vigor, to the entry point. The fun continued, but my
husband was unaware that his built-in warning system was trying to protect him from injury.
The evening after our first day in the lazy river day, I noticed an open wound on the
bottom of my husband’s foot. It wasn’t until I pointed it out that he was even aware of the
lesion. He had apparently worn a hole in his skin by running on the rough concrete. He had
not felt any discomfort because he has a condition called neuropathy, which causes a loss of
sensation in his feet. His warning system was inoperative. His pain sensors were
dysfunctional. Without neuropathy, he would have known to protect the area by either
limping or walking on the edge of his foot. But, no feeling meant no built-in precautions.
The wound was deep enough that he had to seek medical attention and follow doctor’s orders
to give his foot a chance to heal.
The Bible tells of a king named David who engaged in some pleasure without paying
any attention to his internal warnings. He became enchanted with a beautiful woman named
Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, and transgressed by sleeping with her. This action numbed his
conscience, which is the internal moral nervous system that protects mankind from excessive
and abrasive behaviors that wound the soul. Upon discovery that the woman had conceived a
child from their adultery, David contrived a deceptive plan to make it appear that the child
was Uriah’s. When his scheme failed, he planned the murder of Bathsheba’s husband and
took her as his own wife.
Not until a prophet named Nathan pointed out the hole in David’s ethics did David
acknowledge his neuropathic conscious and begin to seek healing for his self-inflicted wound.
David repented and, thus, reactivated the built-in warning system of his heart.
In a culture where entertainment is too frequently intertwined with abrasive behaviors
such as sexual promiscuity, substance misuse, or greedy exploitation, we would be wise to
heed the internal pricks of our conscious in order that we do not deaden our soul’s warning
system and wear holes in the fabric of our lives.

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