I drank mold last night. A lot of mold. It still makes me gag when I think about it. I keep a 2 gallon jug of blue gatorade by my desk in my bedroom. Apparently it had been there for awhile. I burned my tongue on some scalding hot Easy Mac so I quickly unscrewed the top and chugged from the jug. I did this several times. I love blue gatorade. But when I was almost done with my gourmet meal, I was taking another swig and looked inside. There appeared to be seaweed floating around in my drink. An entire colony of mold had been growing in my blue gatorade jug that, now that I think about it, had probably been sitting by my desk since December. Maybe November. It wasn't just a few spots of mold. It was giant pieces of waving, green mold swimming around in the blue gatorade ocean. And I had been drinking it, completely unaware. I continued to gag as I poured it down the drain, but not before showing my roommate who also nearly puked.
This night of mold-drinking reminded me that I am not always very observant. In fact, I'm quite often laughably UNobservant. And I have to pay the price for my lack of awareness. I don't know how much I actually swallowed or if drinking mold can make you sick, but I guess we'll find out today. I've found that being unobservant brings an interesting load of consequences. Here were some recent consequences I have suffered for my lack of awareness:
* I was mocked for eating dry Eggo waffles. Note: never walk into a staff meeting eating Eggo waffles. I learned the hard way that people think this is weird and will draw attention to you and demand an explanation. I've actually found them to be a delicious "breakfast-on-the-go" but found this only because when I went to pour syrup on them, I realized there were ants swimming in the syrup, covering the bottle, and now covering my hand. Had I noticed the ants when I pulled out the syrup from the pantry I would not have been in the predicament: ants crawling up my arms and Eggo waffles fully cooked with nowhere to go.
* I accidentally read a Viagra ad. My dear friend Lori sent an e-mail to me with a few links. I should have noticed the lack of a subject line. Lori always includes a subject line. I should have noticed the e-mail was being sent to several people and only had links, no words from Lori. But I didn't. Not only did I click on the inappropriate ad, I thought to myself, "Why on earth is Lori sending me this? There must be an inside joke somewhere in here," and so I continued to look through the ad searching for a joke from Lori. The joke was on me and my lack of awareness.
* I got a ridiculous sunburn. It's February. Who wears sunblock in February? Granted, it was over 70 degrees and my mom and I sat on a Santa Barbara beach for three straight hours, but really, no one wears sunblock in February. I was grading papers and sitting in a beach chair fully clothed, with a large necklace on. That stupid large necklace. I fried like a lobster and though I could hide the shoulder tan lines, I would have to wear turtle necks to hide the necklace line and I own no turtle necks. For about four days, I was shamefully reminded of my need to pay more attention to my surroundings.
* I created a very awkward moment in the chiropractor's office. I was reading a Newsweek article when a mom entered the office carrying a screaming kid. It was silent in the office and his vocal cords were shattering any chance at relaxing or understanding the article. But I continued to try because I never read the newspaper and was feeling very adult about my Newsweek reading. I glanced at the poor mom to offer a sympathy grin and then pretended not to notice her screaming kid. I was trying really hard not to be annoyed, but I was annoyed. And I shouldn't have been- I have nephews- I know how loud they can be- but I did not know this boy and I did not love him. So his screams were annoying. She rocked the screamer until he finally calmed down and then she decided to move to a more comfortable chair right next to me. No problem except her move awoke the sleeping giant who erupted into a fit of screams. She said, "I'm sorry" and without looking up, I replied sweetly, "Oh, no problem."
I thought I was being kind. I looked up to give a polite smile to communicate, "I don't care that your screaming kid is making my head pound" but when I looked up, I realized my mistake. She hadn't been apologizing to me. She was saying sorry to her boy for waking him up and making him uncomfortable. And then I had gone and stolen that apology for myself, making everyone uncomfortable. Come on, Katie, take notice of your surroundings before you speak.
Clearly, being unobservant gets me into trouble. It creates awkward moments and car accidents and earns me lots of mocking from friends. It's so easy to get caught up in my own little world, that I fail to notice what is going on around me. This also has some more serious consequences.
When I fail to notice a stranger or student or family member who is stressed or hurting because I'm caught up in myself, I miss out on a chance to encourage. I miss out on a chance to be used for the Kingdom, for His Kingdom, when I get so caught up ruling my own. I miss opportunities to bless others and this is much more painful than drinking mold.
So I'm trying to keep my eyes open a little wider. I'm praying for wisdom and awareness so I can be used by God. If I want to live a life of meaning and purpose, I must be more aware. If I say I want to glorify God and be His vessel, I'd better put down all the trinkets I'm carrying so I can carry whatever load He'd like me to transport. To be willing means I must be aware. So I'm trying to be more observant, for the sake of His kingdom, and so I won't drink more mold.