Smokey has a tendency to get ear infections. If he gets water in his ear, yeast infections can start to grow in his ear canal. The last time it happened, it took weeks to get the infection cleaned out. To prevent the problem, I am supposed to clean out his ears twice a week. I use a slightly acidic solution and cotton balls, twisted into long screws as shown.
I have to put drops directly into his ear canal, rub the area behind and beneath his ear, and then shove those cotton screws as deep into his ears as I can to blot out the moisture.
Smokey really does NOT like this procedure. Both the drops and the cotton are uncomfortable for him. But even when he sees me holding the cotton balls and the bottle of solution, he will come when I call him and sit down obediently in front of me and submit to the cleaning. He does try to twist his head away, but he doesn't run from me the way he used to.
The other day, I was thinking about things in my own life that have grown out of control, just like the yeast in Smokey's ears. In my late twenties, I had an obsessive crush on a man I knew was unhealthy for me. I've had workaholic periods on my old job, when I took on too many responsibilities because I had a complex about "saving" overwhelming situations. I've had addictions to buying clothes and eating comfort food.
Anytime I've had to go through a time of healing for one of these issues, the process has been uncomfortable. Usually, I put off tackling the issue as long as I possibly can . . . until I just can't stand living with the problem any longer.
Watching Smokey come and sit in front of me and allow me to root around in his ear canal to keep the yeast from growing again, I found myself wondering what lesson I might learn from this. Maybe by sitting and spending time with God each day, I'm allowing the Spirit to continually cleanse me to keep some of those old problems from recurring again. Perhaps it will even bring to light other impacted situations in my life that need more serious attention. But to make this really work, I need to be as willing to submit myself to my master as Smokey is.