Faith, Guilt, Just for Laughs, parenting, Surviving Adultery and Divorce, temptation

Lessons from a Loogie

Several years ago, I took my kids to the local amusement park. One of their favorite rides is known as the Schooner. It’s a large ship with rows of seats. It swings back and forth like a pendulum, going higher and higher.

My kids love to be in the very top row of seats. On this particular occasion, we decided to split up: the boys on one end with their older cousin, Cassie and I on the other end. By sitting on opposite ends, we could watch each other, make faces, or shout at each other.

We buckled into our seats and the ride began. Higher and higher we went. Back and forth we swung.

At some point, Blake got a brilliant idea. He decided to test the laws of physics and see what would happen if … he spit a loogie. (In case you aren’t familiar with a loogie, it’s a wad of snot that a teen boy sucks out of his nose and into his mouth so that he can spit.) He began to hack up a loogie, and then he let it rip!

One big problem…

He had not quite mastered the concept of physics and the laws of gravity. He let it rip on the way up. And then, on the way down, it smacked him RIGHT IN THE FACE!

He was now wearing his own loogie!

So, you are probably wondering why I am telling you this story. I guess there are two reasons. First, everyone needs to hear this story because it is hysterical! It was even funnier to see the whole thing unfold. Second, when Blake and I were laughing about this epic moment in our history recently, I told him that I should write a blog post about it. He asked, “You mean you think you can get a biblical lesson out of that?” With that, the challenge was on!

Therefore, here are your three biblical lessons from a loogie…

We all spit loogies in this life. I’m sure you can figure out what I mean. After all, we’ve all made poor choices that left us wondering what in the world we were thinking. Perhaps it was a relationship that should have never been. Or maybe it was a decision to go along with friends one night when you knew you shouldn’t. Maybe it was to betray your spouse.

The truth is, none of us is perfect. Scripture teaches us that there is no one righteous (Romans 3:10), that no one measures up to the holy standard of perfection set forth by our Savior. God promises that it is not impossible to get out of temptation (see 1 Corinthians 10:13), but none of us will make it out of this life unscathed.

Thankfully, scripture also teaches us that if we confess our loogies (i.e., our sins), He is faithful and just to forgive us our loogies and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

I don’t know about you, but I am so thankful for the forgiveness and grace of our Savior, for the blood of our Lamb that covers over our multitude of loogies.

Loogies have consequences. Blake’s immediate consequence—other than riotous laughter from our entire family and having to endure the retelling of the story for the rest of his life—was that he had to wear the absolute gross and disgusting results on his face for all the world to see.

No matter what our loogie in life, we will have consequences. Depending upon the choice, the consequences may be subtle or huge. Perhaps that moment of indiscretion costs us the trust of our spouse. Or the continued affair without repentance costs us our family. The night of drinking might cause us a ticket for driving under the influence. Or it might cost us some time in jail.

Had Blake not spit his loogie at the precise moment he did, someone else might have had to pay for his choice. It very easily could have landed on someone else.

Isn’t that the way it is with our loogies? Sometimes the consequences are more severe for those we love the most, for those around us. The pain caused to a spouse betrayed by adultery is immense, unbearable. The pain caused by a car accident that happens while you are driving under the influence could be life-ending to someone else. The bigger the loogie, the larger the sphere of people impacted by the consequences.

In my situation with my husband’s adultery, a church was ripped apart because of its trust in this man who stood before them week after week, proclaiming the gospel of Christ. Some left the church; some left the faith. I don’t think I would want to stand before our Holy God and have to answer for those consequences! Again, thank goodness there is grace.

(And please don’t read that as I don’t have my own loogies in life. I do. I’m just following the theme of adultery because I have lived it and suffered the consequences. Which brings me to my next lesson…)

The trajectory of our lives determines the impact of the loogie. Blake spit his loogie on an upward trajectory, but then he began a downward trajectory almost immediately. If he had continued in an upward motion, he would have never had the full impact right on his face.

Isn’t that the way it is with us? We can be on an upward trajectory, journeying along with our Savior. Suddenly, through our choices, we find ourselves walking away from that intimacy with Him. Perhaps we get lazy in our Bible reading or our church attendance. Maybe we entertain a temptation a little too long, too often. We simply take our eyes off of our Savior. We lose our focus. We get distracted by…life.

And suddenly, we are on a downward trajectory away from the safety of our Savior.

That’s when we get hit by the full impact of our loogies. That’s when the consequences are strong and swift. That’s when the full weight of our sins lands squarely on our shoulders.

But thank God for grace!

When we are on an upward trajectory, seeking him with all our heart, he promises that we will find him (Jeremiah 33:3). He promises that even though we may suffer the natural consequences of our loogies, he will somehow use them for our good and for his glory (Romans 8:28). He promises that the pain we experience will mold us into his image, mature us, perfect us (James 1:2-5). He promises that he will repay every pain with double blessings (Zechariah 9:12).

While I would never want to walk through the pain of adultery again, I would not trade the many blessings I have received—only because I chose to continue (imperfectly) on the trajectory toward God. My relationship with him is richer, deeper. My life is full of amazing blessings. I have seen my Savior’s hand, his provision. I experience his presence, his miracles daily. The joy my children and I share, the laughter we experience, the abundant life we have…it’s all a blessing from my Savior for journeying through the pain and continuing upward. I pray for the strength to continue seeking him daily.

I guess I could add one final lesson from this loogie: It is obvious that I spend way too much time surrounded by teenage boys and their juvenile sense of humor. Yes, I am writing about loogies. If you go back to my archives, you will find that I wrote about farts in the past. Perhaps one day I will have an adult male in my life to help anchor me back to reality. Until then, I will laugh and enjoy every strange twist and turn in conversation, understanding that it’s a blessing that my boys let me be a part of their juvenile humor. Yet another way God has blessed me from the loogie that landed on me…


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