Where do we find the answers to life’s questions?
By Penelope A. Domogo, MD
Time passes by so quickly after all. When the emergency quarantine was declared in March after covid-19 was declared a pandemic, even the thought of being locked down for two weeks was like being isolated for eternity. It was the first time that the freedom to go out as one pleased was curtailed and the mere thought of not being able to go out of the house was hard to accept immediately. We know that some people continued to gather, to party and to travel. I guess most of us thought, then, that the lockdown would be lifted after a short while but then it was extended to a month and extended again up to this point- more than three months already, although some movement has been allowed. For those who were able to accept the situation, three months has been a breeze after all, thanks to cooking and eating, facebook, surfing including shopping (the net), gardening, Korean telenovela, babysitting, books (in that order?). I am sure that in between these daily activities, we prayed – for our leaders, for the front liners (which in my list includes our farmers) and for our health and wellness. We prayed that we find the answer to the covid problem. If you read the broadcast, it seems society has not yet found the answer, meaning a lot of us are still lost. Aside from praying and crying, what do you do when you are lost? As the saying goes, “God helps those who help themselves”.
Well, humans have been around for the past how many millennia (some say 300,000, some say 200,000) and we haven’t become extinct. In that length of time, I am sure a lot of people got lost somewhere sometime. And with this experience, I am sure people have developed strategies to cope with being lost and to prevent being lost. What do you think? If dogs have a way of making sure they are not lost as they go away from home, wouldn’t humans have even better ways? By the way, do you know how dogs know their way home? One theory is through their own scent. I personally noted this phenomenon. Before quarantine, our dog in the city would follow us out to the main road and along the way, he would pee every how many meters. At some point he had to go back home on his own as we would leave him alone as we board the jeep. How did he find the right house? He just followed the smell of his pee. I heard that this pee trail is also a territorial boundary demarcation, I guess meaning this delineated space is “home.” Without the use of a compass, people used the sun, moon and stars to guide them on their travel on land and sea. People and other creatures used nature to guide them to prevent them from getting lost and if they failed to see the guideposts and got lost, he still uses nature to guide them back. Isn’t this an amazing affirmation of nature’s way of taking care of us? Isn’t this an amazing manifestation of the Creator’s love for us? (He designed Mother Nature, if you didn’t know yet.) Of course, we have accounts of lost people and ships and some may have been lost forever but then those experiences have become lessons. And people are gifted with memory and intelligence and so these lessons are part of the universal depository of strategies to navigate this world.
Wait… is God’s love (or grace) limited to making it sure that we are guided on our literal earthly travels so we could travel far and wide without getting lost? Thank goodness, no! This amazing grace is manifest in all our life, including our health and healing. I hope you have read our previous columns this year so you already have an idea of what I am saying. So how is God’s love manifested in our health and healing?
He designed our bodies such that it will live well alongside all other creatures of the universe- from the tiniest microorganism to the biggest whale. At this viral times, we’ll focus on how our body lives in harmony with microscopic organisms in the environment- these are the viruses, bacteria and parasites (although some parasites like the tapeworm is visible to the naked eye). As I said earlier, humanity has been around for hundreds of centuries before the age of western medicine, before the age of machines and laboratories. This means that we were not rendered extinct by anything. Meaning, our bodies must have mechanisms that made it possible to survive and flourish so that we are here today. (I am not comfortable with the word “survive” because the world is not a harsh jungle and in fact, we are meant “to live abundantly”, not in the materialistic consumeristic sense of today, though.)
And although people of old already discerned this phenomena – that if we live according to the laws of nature, we will indeed live well and abundantly- people of modern times don’t believe it. These modern people have that attitude – “to see is to believe.” So modern people have invented gadgets to peer into how nature works. And viola! These gadgets saw some wonderful mechanisms of our bodies- how our bodies are naturally protected from possible attacks from the outside. They saw the way our skin provides the widest fortress for any invader, then we have the hair and secretions (mucus, saliva, tears) in our noses, eyes and ears to ward of invaders. And for those who are able to get through the front liners, we have fierce general defense armies in our blood and secretions (like saliva and breastmilk! So Moms, be sure your baby is breastfed.) And because these micro-organisms are part of our environment, our loving Creator designed elite defense forces to make sure these viruses don’t survive any future attack. These elite defense forces are our antibodies. Viruses will not survive these highly-trained defense forces (take note, they are not offense). So if you still have your memory intact, you will remember that those who had measles or chicken pox or flu or any other viral disease got well without any specific tablet or injection. I hope you can see how God has super back-up plans to make sure we get through any challenge. Of course, he’s our Creator, he’s the Creator of the microorganisms and everything in the Universe. He has designed it so. Do we believe that? Thank goodness, whether you believe or not, it happens. But your defense forces would be happier and more vibrant if you believed in them. You see, the mind and spirit and emotions are one with the body. Nope, you can’t separate any of them, even if you try because we are not the maker.
What is funny is that ok, we have seen with our eyes (through the microscope) how amazing our bodies work. But why do we still not believe in our power to be well and to heal? Why are we still holding our breath while waiting for the vaccine and medicine to be invented by humans in the factory? Do we want to reinvent nature?
Just like getting geographical directions, we no longer rely on nature and our memory. We, modern people, invented the GPS and Waze or what else to guide our wheels. So we no longer know Aldebaran, Sirius or Orion. And well, truth is our team got misdirected not only once with these gadgets- it’s just good that we were not in the middle of the sea. And what if there’s no internet connection? How can we reach our destination? Our love for convenience led us more inconvenience and risk. Are we also allowing our health that risk?
Humans do want to reinvent nature. Ok, not all humans but some crazy people do and the rest of us just let them be. We think we can invent a better vaccine and medicine in the laboratory than what nature provides. To repeat, we have the built-in vaccine and medicine for covid and any virus. God loves us beyond our imagination- that means his love for us is infinite. It’s mind- boggling. He designed our nature in such a way that it takes care of itself. That we don’t have to depend on money or fame to be healthy and well as we journey in this world. The more you discern how the natural order of the universe ensures our survival and wellbeing, the more awesome it gets. That is, if we allow our minds to accept that God’s love is not limited to our narrow understanding- meaning, God’s love is beyond human understanding. Sorry, but I am being repetitive here. This means that even if human science will not be able to explain or “prove” God’s love, it’s there. Do we have enough faith in this?
So I would like to finish this article with one of my favorite stories. I hope you have heard of King Solomon. He is the wisest of kings. I don’t know of any wiser king up to now. The story is a bit long but this is the gist. The Queen of Sheba tested King Solomon’s wisdom by presenting him with beautiful flowers so identical but only one was real and the rest were fake flowers made by skillful artisans. Without getting near the flowers and just by seeing the flowers, the Queen of Sheba asked King Solomon to identify which was real. Noticing a buzz in a nearby window, King Solomon asked his guard to open the window and in came the bee. Of course the bee landed on the real flower. So King Solomon answered, “The bee has the answer.” So where do we find the answer to life’s questions? ***
“But ask the animals and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky and they will tell you; or speak to the earth and it will teach you or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:7-10