Aug 19, 2010

A large pill to swallow

I believe it was early in the school year. I awoke and found my way to the breakfast table. Resting on my plate was a whole alphabet of vitamins. Recently my mother had gone on a health food craze and learned that regular tasty food did not provide the necessary vitamins for growing kids. So instead of adding a banana to our diet or some such thing, she added vitamin pills. Now today vitamins are very popular, but in the 1960s, this was outside of mainstream America.


So sitting on my plate was a large clear pill filled with liquid. I am not exaggerating when I say that this pill was larger than my thumb. It was huge. The other little vitamins were no problem. After weeks of gagging, I had learned that simply putting the pill in my mouth and drinking a gulp of water would wash the pill down. But this? You’ve got to be kidding me. It was bigger than my throat.


I thought about cutting the pill in two. You see, my sister did not like swallowing vitamin pills, so she would use a knife and cut them into pieces. She would then wash them down individually. I thought about doing the same thing to this pill, but how do you cut a pill that has liquid in it? I turned to my sister for a solution but she had gone into cardiac arrest when she saw the pill. Oh well, no help there.


I asked my mother what was in this thing. She explained that it was fish oil and that it contained Vitamin E. “Couldn’t they find smaller fishes”, I asked. My father chimed in. He told the story of how when he was a kid he had to swallow large tablespoons full of cod liver oil. He said that was the nastiest stuff he had ever eaten. He said that we should be grateful that this fish oil was contained in a pill. I don’t know, swallowing a tablespoon of anything seemed better than getting this pill down.


Oh well, I knew there was only one solution. I needed to swallow the pill, choke on it and die to prove to my mom that this was impossible. So I threw caution to the wind, placed the pill in my mouth and drank. The pill went down. Fascinating. I turned to my sister, “that wasn’t too bad”. She was still in shock and didn’t hear me.


Life is like this. Sometimes problems may look bigger than they really are. Our minds can play all sorts of tricks on us and elevate the size and scope of problems until they seem impossible to manage. But God does not leave us during these times. It’s when He is most present. But more importantly, He loves us whether or not we ever fully swallow life’s problems. No pill, no matter the size, will ever separate us from His love.




Pastor David Hook



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