Already… not yet

I lay awake last night, my whole body aching. Not aching terribly, just enough to keep me from sleeping an extra half hour. “This is like the kingdom of God,” I thought about The Mono, as Jeremiah and I have been (not-so-)affectionately referring to it.

How is mono related to the kingdom of God? Mono is the kingdom’s foil.

I’ve decided The Mono is the most annoying illness ever. Like a common cold, mono is caused by virus (Epstein-Barr, to be specific) for which there is no cure. Essentially, you have to wait it out. That was annoying when it was a 10-day cold. It is even more annoying when it’s mono, I’m discovering. You don’t feel like complete shit every moment of every day–but you feel bad off and on in an unpredictable fashion. For example, today I felt drowsy and took a long nap. When I got up, I felt exhausted and had a fever. The nap was utterly useless. It feels like whatever I do, The Mono (that trickster!) will win.

But I know that ultimately, my body has already won. Mono doesn’t last forever. Bodies beat viruses of this sort, eventually. And sometimes, at least in the case of a cold, out bodies technically beat the virus even before the symptoms fully resolve. While I’m not certain mono works that way, and while I know that Epstein-Barr bastard is still reigning in my body at the present, I can’t help but feel frustrated that I know the outcome… I just have to wait to actually beat this thing.

How similarly I feel about the kingdom of God. I can accept things as they are some days, but I frequently wonder why, why, why we have to wait for an “already” King to have visible dominion over everything. Why do we run against this “not yet” issue when it comes to evil being defeated? Why aren’t sick people healed? Why do parents screw up? Why do we battle our pride, lust, and anxieties on a daily basis? When does it end?

One of the most interesting things with mono is that it can come back during the first year after your initial exposure. I think that’s very much like evil. Yes, Jesus beat evil in his death and resurrection, but it still hangs around for a while. It creeps back into the picture. Perhaps things are being made new, but there is still an old nature and an old order to content with. I don’t understand why it works this way, and I wish it weren’t so. And I can’t wait for The Mono to die.

(I must admit that this metaphor breaks down in that mono actually stays in your body forever and reactivates at random allowing you to pass it on again, though not bringing back symptoms. I think Jesus did a better job beating brokenness than that. BUT the point of this wasn’t to introduce a flawless metaphor, but to allow you into the crazy world of my-head-as-I’m-falling-asleep. ;o)

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