Ahh, spring is upon us. Bluebirds are singing jaunty tunes. Pastel flowers are poking their heads out after long winter naps. Woodland creatures are dancing about.
And I am sneezing.
And constantly looking like I’m crying from watching a particularly heart-wrenching Lifetime Channel Movie.
I have allergies. And in Nashville, spring blooms like a big bowl of pollen-covered frosted mini wheats.
I’m taking Claritin D. I’ve scheduled an appointment with an allergist. I’m drinking throat coat before I speak on stage because my voice kind of sounds like a smoky lounge singer right now. But why?
Why did God create allergies? Have you ever stopped to think about that? Why do they exist? Here are five possible explanations I came up with:
Reasons God Created Allergies
1. Keep me humble.
One Sunday at church, I was snorting so much that the lady next to me just handed me a tissue. She didn’t ask if I needed one. I didn’t ask her for one. She just thrust it in my hand, which is church aisle language for “Shut up. Please shut up already with that nose of yours.” Maybe God created allergies to keep me humble. It’s my thorn in the flesh, or thorn in the sinus if you will. Seems a little extreme that he would create a planet impacting form of pollen just to keep me humble, but me even thinking that probably proves why he needed to do it.
2. Support pharmacies and pharmacists.
My sister-in-law Marci is studying to be a pharmacist. I have friends who are drug reps. I’m sure someone I know worked on one of the bajillion allergy commercials you see this time of year. There are tens of thousands of people with families and kids and lives supported by people who have allergies. Maybe that’s why God invented them.
3. Teach me patience.
Have you tried to buy allergy medicine lately? In order to prevent illegal purchases, you now have to fill out a form, show your driver’s license, buy one small box at a time, submit to a retinal scan, and write a 300-word essay on why you feel you deserve the Claritin D. Maybe this is all just a lesson in patience.
4. Bees need pollen.
In the current issue of National Geographic, there’s a story about pollen and bees. I didn’t read it because just looking at the photos made me sneeze, and there was an article on kung fu that I found very distracting/awesome. I like honey. Maybe that’s the tradeoff. God created allergies because honey is so fantastic. I think I can get down with that.
5. In all things God works for the good.
Is this a Romans 8:28 situation? “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Should I recite that verse every time I feel my itchy red eyes tearing up?
It has to be one of those reasons. Or maybe allergies are part of the fall? Was the Garden of Eden hypoallergenic, and then when Adam and Eve got kicked out they were expelled to a pollen-filled land of woe? Am I overthinking this? Probably.
Why do you think God created allergies?
Do you have any allergies?
(This post originally appeared on SCL in 2011)