I really don't think Bob Dylan was singing about anything, in his 1966 ballad "Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35," except kidney stones really. I think I understand now. The way his voice was ringing out some of the lyrics and the way he captured the essence of how relentless the stone is. It really doesn't care who you are or how much money you have, or how big and bad you think you are- it's still going to get you. Then there's his famous- "Like a Rolling Stone," that cries out "How does it feel/How does it feel/To be without hydrocodone/Like a complete unknown/With a kidney stone." Okay, that may not be exactly how that last song goes, but he sings it like he has one, eh? Kidney stones, much like listening to Dylan, is one of the most painful sicknesses wrought on any human. Almost every woman that has had one and has also experienced having kids, will admit they'd rather have another kid. I'm not so sure. Sixteen years from now, that kidney stone's not going to give you a bunch of lip and put a dent in the car. But I think we get the point. Having a kidney stone feels like a moose standing on your back and not getting off. It's like trying to run into the end zone against the Eagles defense backwards without any padding on your back. These stones are the result of the solidification, crystallization, or concretion of solids in the kidney, etc. In other words, there are tiny solid particles that have gotten in where they shouldn't be and they all come together and make a painful situation. So, how do you avoid these things? For some, there is no avoiding them. They will get them no matter what. For others, drink water and juice, not tea. Don't eat a lot of chocolate, nuts, spinach and a list of other things. There are also medicines and things that can help control the formation of these pesky little boulders too. So, what's the point of this little health lesson today? As the new year begins, I hear a lot of regretful talk- how much last year was bad and how much we hope next year is good. Maybe it's time to get rid of the moose standing on our spiritual kidney and clean out some of the particles we've allowed into our life and stop the bad things from happening in 09? There are a lot of "little things" that you have done over the course of the last year that you may not have thought were "that bad," but these things (if not gotten rid of, confessed, forgiven, etc.) will eventually build up, solidify, crystalize, and become set in concrete and will be almost unbearable to do anything with. Psalm 51.10-11 is a great place to start. David had a serious pain in the spiritual kidney and decided to get some healing for it. He prayed "Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me." (could we apply in this case, create in me a new kidney?). That's a great place to start. Now pick up with God where you left off in the Bible, in your prayer life, and so on. Our relationship with Him isn't as hard as we make it out to be. We really do have within us the desire and ability to do what is right. Philippians 2.13 says "For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him."

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