When the Wonder Dog came to live with me my allergy to dogs went haywire. I wanted to scratch my eyes out of my head. To add to the issue, Hero had learned to sleep in the bed with my oldest grand. NATURALLY --he was not happy unless he was on the bed at night, so I inhaled his dander all night long. The good news is with exposure, I have become desensitized. Only occasionally do I notice the effects of being allergic to the ball of fur. With exposure my body no longer reacts adversely.
Our little adventure group has hiked many a mountain over the years. In the early years, the fear factor of the danger of not only the trail, but the wildlife was high. After many a trip, we have become desensitized to the very real danger of falling or happening upon a bear/moose. As we have traveled, the risk factor seems to have increased due to this desensitization. Until I fell while hiking in the Grand Canyon, it really never occurred to me the very real possibility of becoming permanently out of commission. As we successfully took risk upon risk, I had become desensitized to the very real danger in which we were placing ourselves. While hiking in the Tetons facing a moose taller than six feet and a great deal longer with a rack on him twice as wide as his body, and headed down the trail toward us 20 feet away, brought back that sense of perhaps this is dangerous. One of the group, who was not with us and did not see the moose, asked did we get a picture. She obviously did not realize the danger we faced as that huge moose headed toward us. I was more concerned with getting off the trail and behind a huge tree than making his picture.
Many of us suffer from fears and aversions of all types and degrees. In many cases our fears are created by the unknown. Social anxiety runs rampant in society. Snakes, spiders, bugs, --many types of living creatures create anxiety and fear in people. Most of these phobias and fears can be treated by slow exposure to what we live in fear of. The desensitization through gradual exposure is a wonderful tool to teach us how to deal with these fears.
There are times desensitization works against us---sin would be a primary example. A whispered word of gossip, a small white lie, cheating on your taxes, no grace for failure, attacking opposing viewpoint holders, and the list goes on and on seem to harm no one--no one but us. With each retelling of the rumor, with every small lie not meant to harm, with each personal attack because of opposing philosophies, we are chipping away at our integrity. Sin is a slippery slope leading down to the dark chasm of separation from the Father. One sin leads to another and with time and repetition we become so desensitized we loose our sense of this is not right. Little sins largely go unnoticed, and slowly desensitize us to the line between right and wrong. Ignoring the Holy Spirit's nudging will eventually result in the dulling of our ability to hear His warning. Repetitive sins lead to a hard heart--impenetrable to the sense of wrong. Woe to the hard hearted person--the consequences of our sin cannot be avoided. And it all starts with one little sin which could not possibly harm anyone.
Do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that by testing you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and acceptable and perfect.