The Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral. It’s all over Facebook and YouTube and everybody’s doin’ it. And for good reason. The Ice Bucket challenge, started by who knows who, is when you challenge or are challenged by someone to dump a bucket of ice water over your head. For all sports aficionados, the competitive corollary is clear. At the end of a big game, just before the clock strikes triple-zero and a team has notched a big win, players will take the Gatorade cooler and dump it over the coach’s head to celebrate the victory.
One of the cutest videos of someone taking the challenge is Duke’s Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski), also the USA Basketball coach, being doused by his grandchildren.
In a pre-emptive strike, the foundation that is researching the cause of a dreaded disease is raising money by challenging sports lovers everywhere to dump a bucket of ice water over their heads as a sign that this enemy will one day be conquered and cured. The ALS Association’s goal is to strike out ALS, which is Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This disease, often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
The challenge is needful and necessary because of what this dastardly disorder does to the human function and frame. The word “A-myo-trophic” comes from the Greek language. “A” means no or negative. “Myo” refers to muscle, and “Trophic” means nourishment–”No muscle nourishment.” When a muscle has no nourishment, it “atrophies” or wastes away. “Lateral” identifies the areas in a person’s spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located. As this area degenerates it leads to scarring or hardening (“sclerosis”) in the region.
The Ice Bucket Challenge has raised over $100 million and seems to be picking up steam with no let up or let down in sight. I say that’s great. It’s a worthy cause, and it’s wonderful that so many are concerned enough to join in the campaign. So take the challenge, not just to eradicate ALS, but to eliminate all forms sickness and to extricate all those who are bound by illness and disease.
Spiritually speaking, the worst disease we face is the sickness of the soul. And the sickness is sin, and the disease is disobedience. The heart and the head of man is not at ease; we are not at peace with God. Consequently, we suffer from a malady of the mind, and the health of our hearts is at stake. So we should be challenging each other to fight the progressive degeneration of love and laughter, of kindness and compassion, and of mercy and majesty, and general common decency and decorum.
So take the challenge; challenge others and yourself to be meek and mild, pure in heart and poor in spirit, rich in mercy and plenteous in leniency, quick to forgive and slow to anger and always bearing the fruit of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith meekness and temperance to everyone every day.