Acid + Base = Water + Salt

test-tubes.jpgThis is something that has been tossing around in my head for about two weeks.  I’ll give a bit of a backstory before I continue.  When I was in grammar school, junior and senior high, I was in the “enrichment” classes.  Essentially, my future was determined by my test scores.  I was placed in classes that were math and science heavy, basically forsaking the humanities, aside from the state mandated classes.  So, many times when I think, I think in mathematical or scientific terms.  I thrive in math (aside from geometry) and science (aside from biology) classes. 

That being said, when I think of the Bible, I sometimes, many times, think of different topics with relations to equations and/or chemistry topics.  Recently, I’ve had people in my life with whom I have a…ummm…acid/base type relationship.  When you combine an acid and a base, the reaction is quite noticeable.  When you mix hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide, you can tell that two highly reactive substances have come into contact.

When two people come into contact that are “highly reactive,” there are times when the relationship seems highly explosive.  Explosions can be good things.  For example, when constructing a tunnel under a mountain, controlled explosions move the rock so that the tunnel can be cleared.  Mining utilizes explosions to get to the minerals under the earth. 

But I digress.  Back to the reactions between acids and bases.  A compound is an acid because it has hydrogen atoms attached.  A compund is a base because it has hydroxide molecules attached.  When you combine hydrogen (H) and hydroxide (OH) you get water (HOH).  Therefore, reactions between acids and bases produce a necessary molecule, a necessary compond on which every plant, animal and person on earth depends…water.

In the Bible, water is one symbol for the Holy Spirit.

I have a choice to make each and every time I interact with a person.  The most difficult people in my life should lead me to the Holy Spirit.  People are difficult for many reasons:  they’ve been hurt, disillusioned.  Perhaps that person is having a rough day, week, month, year.  Or perhaps there is something in me that is making the interaction difficult.  Either way, whenever I am being challenged to go to my knees whenever I find myself in an uncomfortable situation. 

Have you ever used baking soda and vinegar to clean a pan?  I cook a lot, and sometimes I burn things.  This combination cleans a pan better than any elbow grease I possess.  Vinegar is an acid, and baking soda is a base.  The fizziness of the combination is cleansing.  The burnt bits on the bottom of the pan rise to the surface, and the pan is clean.  Sure, you still have to empty the pan of the burnt bits, but the valuable part, the pan, has been saved.  So it is with us.  Sometimes, being around certain people causes impurities to rise within us.  When those impurities rise to the surface, it may be a less than desirable undertaking, but when cleaned out, the valuable part, your spirit, your soul, is clean.

So, chew on that when you walk out into the world.  If you come into contact with a difficult person, be introspective and try to see the water that can come out of the reaction.

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