October is here and the seasons are changing. The Midwest had a crazy swing in temperatures that started in the 80’s then included SNOW for a good portion of it. Here in the gulf it didn’t get that cold, but a front did move through and spiced things up. Unfortunately for me, that means my allergies are flaring up. My eyes are watering so much that it’s hard for me to see.
The culprit that is causing me all of this misery is ragweed. Ever since high school, once or twice a year I’ve had this bad reaction to ragweed. I don’t remember having it as a small child, it developed later on. I lived in the same town with the same ragweed as thousands of other people for the first 18 years of my life, but not all of them developed this allergy, why?
The truth is that allergies develop based on our individual immune system, and all of ours are different. Allergies occur when your immune system encounters a foreign substance and overreacts to it. People can become allergic to a wide variety of things, but some common ones are pollen, pet dander, and certain foods.
Your immune system sees this foreign substance and creates antibodies to fight it. Your immune system thinks that this foreign substance is harmful even when it isn’t. Then, every time after that, when you encounter this foreign substance, your immune system reaction can cause you to feel sick (or worse) due to it fighting off this supposed threat.
Just like our immune system’s reaction to allergens, each of our paths to heaven are all unique to us alone. This Sunday is All Saint’s Day. It is a day when the Catholic Church celebrates all of the people who have come before us and have made it to heaven. Their stories show us the path they took. All of these men and women were human beings with the same earthly temptations as us. Because of some similarities between their lives and ours, we look to them for inspiration, for motivation, but not necessarily an exact road map. It is helpful to look at how they lived their lives, but it is important to know that none of the saints in heaven took the exact same path. Each one is at least a little different.
On this day when we reflect on the saints, it is a really good time to look at our own lives. It is a good time to figure out what choices we are making to get us to heaven. Our path to heaven will look different from the saints and from our neighbors around us. We have to figure out our own path. What does your path look like? Are you doing a good job of staying on that path? Reflect on these things and take some time to read up about the saints that have come before you. Let them be an inspiration to you as you find your own way.