Five Senses.

Here’s a test for you. Take out a sheet of paper, a #2 pencil or your favorite paper mate pen and write down these words: Eyes, Ears, Nose, Mouth, and Touch. Now choose one. Choose your favorite.  The one you like the most. Is it your nose because you love the aroma of roses. Is it your mouth that continually smiles and tastes the sweet tea? Is it the sight of a rainbow. Is it your skin so smooth and soft? Or, do you hate your ears because they stick out too far? Or, do you really hate your nose because it reminds you of a camel’s back?

Choose the one you’d agree to have disabled, removed so you could not see, could not hear, could not speak, could not smell or touch. Which one would you agree to do without? Place a big X over that word. Now, imagine what everyday life would be without that sense. No eyes seeing the moon, without your ears to hear your favorite words, without your nose to smell, minus your mouth to taste and smile, or without that sense of feeling you get when you scratch your back.

Which would it be? The sense of touch, smell, sight, taste or hearing?

Look at the animals; at your pet dog, your pussycat, the parakeet locked in the cage, your hamster running on the circular treadmill, at the horse in the barn, at your gold-fish tank. All of these creatures must be fed each day, provided with water, and a place to rest and play. The dog barks, the cat meows, the bird mimic your words, the hamster, well, I’ve never been around any, so I’m not aware of the sounds they make, and the goldfish no voice I assume. Every one of them has eyes, ears, a nose, a mouth or beak to eat with, and yes, that parakeet would not find the perch to stand on without that sense of touch.

Say something drastic happened to you. Perhaps a car wreck, a fist fight with a neighbor, the subway crashed, or you were in a train wreck. The flight to LA caught fire and had to land in the desert of New Mexico, a tornado tore the roof off your house, or an Alien broke through your back door demanding all five; eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and ability to feel the touch.  They are needed by the aliens to replicate the likeness of humans. Imagine any kind of scenario that would remove one of those five elements.  Choose the one you’d keep, choose the two you deem impossible to live without, the three or four most important ones to you. Or if you’re lucky, the Alien would only demand one be removed from you. Your choice, and then he’d go to your neighbors home.

Which would it be?

No doubt, you’ve seen a blind person navigating the street with a white stick he uses to strike across the path in front that he cannot see. You stop and talk, and his eyes appear to be looking out into space. He hears you wink and the honks of vehicles. He can hear the click of the red light changing to green. He can smell your perfume and is able to talk back to you. He just can’t see you. He can touch the shape of your face, feeling the soft smooth or the rough, wrinkled hands.  Would you willingly give the alien your eyes, if you could keep the other four, or beg or bargain with him to choose something else?

How about the person who’s born deaf, the veteran who lost his ears, or the aged man who operated loud, noisy machinery most of his life without ear muffs, slowly losing that ability to clearly understand words spoken in a restaurant or a small room where the sounds vibrate off the smooth walls. That’s my dilemma. Yes, there are hearing aids that magnify sounds, but it’s still not as those ears were designed to operate. No longer can I hear a pin drop. I could learn to read lips. I could learn sign language. Sure, when watching TV, I can choose closed captioning. Spending an evening out at the theater is useless. Would you give the Alien your ears?

The two nostrils of your nose enable you to smell the rose or choose which perfume you’d like best. You can inhale the aroma steaming off the dinner plate. And, also those smells you find visiting a farmers outhouse. Put a clothespin over your nostrils, and your mouth is forced open to breathe in the fresh air. Okay, Alien, you can have the nose. I can still breathe and smelling a rose is no big thing to me, but would the shape of my nose still be there? Huh? Would you enjoy looking in the mirror and see just smooth skin between your cheekbones?

Have you ever seen a person without a mouth? Just a continuation of the skin from the nose to chin? Nope. No doubt you’ve seen various shapes to the upper or lower lips. The mouth provides us the ability to smile exposing the white teeth. It can grin, and cause the lips to droop and the tongue to stick out when you wish to express your emotion to a friend you suddenly hate. With the mouth, you separate the two lips and with the teeth chew your food. The ability to eat and drink that coffee first thing in the morning would be removed. You exhale and breathe through those two separated lips. You taste that java and the roasted bar-b-que hot dog, and the, oooh, hot spicy jalapeno pepper. The words you speak are propelled out of your mouth. Would you give it up? The Alien wants your mouth. Tough buddy, get one of those needles inserted into a vein to provide you with sustaining food.

Hey neighbor, the Alien greets you and holds you down and removes the sense of touch as you swap the fly. No big deal, or is it? Now, you wonder what’s going on as you walk barefooted to the Living room and you can’t feel the difference between soft carpet and the hard slippery ceramic tile you so carefully placed together.  You raise your hand against the wall to help your balance, hearing a thug. Your fingers do not sense the difference between cotton fleece or sandpaper, the hot pan or ice cubes. You want to operate the remote that your hand is holding and you’ve got to look to see if it’s really in your hand. You turn on the water faucet not knowing when the water is cold or blistering hot. You spend some time outside breathing in the steaming hot 105-degree afternoon wondering why the sweat is pouring off your forehead. You go to scratch the itching back but, did your hand reach the spot. You lay down in bed and pull the covers over. You see it over your shoulder, but you don’t feel the warmth and comfort. You jump into the pool and see it splash, but can not sense the touch of the cool water surrounding you.

Unlike the others, the sense of touch is without a single physical object like the nose, your ears, eyes, or mouth. It’s not confined to just your fingertips, the skin of your cheeks feeling the raindrops, or your ankles being cooled in the rushing waters of the creek.

“Nope, sorry,” the Alien says, “but we’re going to disable all those itty bitty nerves at the roots so we can finish our project. We’re taking that sense of touch, as you did not choose one of the others.?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watching a game.

Watching a ball-game the other evening as the right fielder was running hard to his left to catch a fly ball, the movements of his legs caught my attention, and my utter amazement. How does he do that? How do his legs know they must rotate like that, at that speed and in that direction? Two of those legs coming off the hip bone moving at opposing times: one leg forward, the other leg behind the torso, as the front foot lands on the ground pushing the spikes on the bottom of his shoes against the ground and pulling back causing the large thigh bone to rotate back which brings the rear leg forward, the hip bone moving back and forth, left and right.

Was the outfielder thinking along the way? Now the left, the right, left, right, left, let’s go legs, knees move, stretch out more, faster, faster more speed. There it is, I see the ball coming, it’s starting to come down.  Move legs, faster, faster, toes grab the ground and push.  Okay, now the left arm; stretch out all the way, shoulders turn a bit toward the infield, stretch some more arm. Yeah, you can do it, just a bit more. Okay good, now to the hand in the glove; here it comes, rotate palm up some but not too far, fingers open the glove and catch, now close it tight. You got it. Good work body. It’s ok slide along the grass a bit. Thank you. The coach, the teammates thank you. We won.

Unbelievable pieces of equipment. One long thick bone covered by muscles and tissue rotating off his hip connecting to a knee apparatus that connects to another tissue and muscle covering double bones connecting to an ankle which feeds the foot bones connecting to the toes. Two of those opposite mechanical apparatuses moving at the same precise cadence together. Truly amazing how this physical body of ours is put together.

 

When I was just a kid we used to sing a song.

The toe bone’s connected to the foot bone,
The foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone,
The ankle bone’s connected to the leg bone,
Now shake dem skeleton bones!

The leg bone’s connected to the knee bone,
The knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone,
The thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone,
Now shake dem skeleton bones!

Scientists, biologists have it all mapped out how these things work. How the muscles and skeletal bones operate around the joints. They tell us how to use the legs properly. They tell us what could happen if they are abused or if we fall and break one of those bones. They’re quick to inform us of our need to exercise the joints and muscles, not just the leg bones, but this entire physical body of ours that the entire human population is similarly equipped with. They also point out the similarities of our bones with those of horses, cows, monkeys, apes and elephants. How often has a horse, whose legs are so thin seemly lacking in muscle tissue around the bone fall down and break a leg? Or, monkeys as they swing from tree to tree missing a branch falling 20 feet to the ground resulting in a broken hip bone? Have any elephants been found unable to walk because of a broken leg. Our legs are designed for this size body, not the body of an elephant, or a Chimp.

They tell us it’s our brain muscle that sends super-fast signals to these muscular legs to get to work, run and catch that ball . . . quickly. The brain? Another muscle? No, not just another muscle, but a mass, like billions of neurons with possibly trillions of connections working together sending signals received by the eyes, the ears, our sense of smell and touch sending those signals to the different parts of the body to do something. The following fact as explained by the scientists is interesting to me. The left side of this brain sends signals controlling the functions of the right side of the body while the right part sends the signals on how the muscles and bones of the left side of the body should operate, both using the one central spinal cord next to our back bone.

But, all these well-educated scientists leave out the why part and leave out the how was all this designed in the first place. They agree that it was a process of evolution over millions or billions of years as these different parts merged together because of a necessity to functionally operate. Two legs are better than one. One spinal cord can handle it. Five fingers are better than three or four. Two eyes closer together than where the elephant’s eyes are located are better. Wow, if only another eye was situated behind the head what a difference in sight that would be. The knee joints should only move the lower leg up and backwards. Strong bones protecting the heart muscle sending a red substance to nourish the body with fluid, and lungs that continually breathe in and out. And, we’ve got to nourish this body with food on a daily basis, which is digested by a stomach sending strength throughout and yes, discharging un-needed parts of that food through a long winding tube and out of the body. Hmm? And then this brain that recognizes sight and sound is also very curious about the hows and whys things work as our reasoning ability has invented modern technology, designing this computer by combining millions of 1’s and O’s into certain configurations, algorithms.  Yes, THE designer has imagined and assembled all these parts together into one physical body very different than the animal world.

We can catch a ball flying thru the air.

 

Too busy to be still.

We’ve all got a navigational system built within guiding us and leading us to and down a peaceful loving fulfilling confident path, but along the way we may see another path that looks and appears to be the one as the footprints are too many to count. It sure looks neat and easy, so why not. Yes, do it. After some time following the deep footprints, getting involved in the brush, shooing away wild dogs, we settle on a neat comfortable grassy plain by the rippled waters watching others doing the same. Yes, this is it. This is the way. I’m happy as a lark.

Then that guidance system knocks on the door. Take another look.

I once was too busy reveling in the pursuit of the comfortable grassy plain while periodically fighting off the dogs, I was following the footprints, negating my own built in guidance system into unconsciousness. Too busy to be still. Too occupied to know. Too comfortable enjoying the entertaining fellowship.

Then one day I noticed a trail of ants, a hummingbird, a butterfly, an eagle doing what they do.

How do they do it?  What path are they following? Can an ant fly? Does a hummingbird get mad? Does the butterfly smile when full? Does an Eagle laugh at the conquest? Do they talk, leaving footprints?

I was watching. I was intrigued by the wonders. I was still. I began to know. I was being renewed. Oh, that peace that is beyond understanding.

  • And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
  • He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Psalm 23:3
  • Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
  • Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
  • The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Psalm 46: 8-11