The Nasty Consequences Of Dehydration


It’s July, so no surprise that summer weather has arrived with a vengeance. Here in SoCal, that means heat. Desert-like heat. As the temperatures soared around the Southland, various of my friends and I posted on Facebook the temperature they experienced: 112° at one place, 110° at another place, 106° at my place (at the time; it’s since gone up), further north, 100°.

In response to my report, a cousin who lives back east commented, “At least it’s not humid there.” Or something similar. And she’s right. The humidity, according to my weather app, is 13%. These conditions are clearly more like the Mojave Desert than the Pacific coast. The problem is, we live between those two land features.

Usually we enjoy an onshore breeze. Depending on how close you live to the ocean, the temps range from mild to mildly warm. But when the wind shifts and we experience an offshore breeze, we have conditions such as we’re experiencing today.

Wikipedia has this to say about the Mojave: “The Mojave Desert is an arid rain-shadow desert and the driest desert in North America.” Not hottest. Driest. Little to no moisture. And as it happens, this is the “dry season” here in SoCal. Well, most months are “the dry season,” but rain in July is pretty much unheard of.

So we swelter, but we don’t really sweat, which, of course, is the body’s way of cooling itself. Generally when it gets this hot we’re reminded to drink lots of water and stay inside. Preferable in some place air conditioned.

Of course, not all of us have air conditioning. Consequently, it’s a good idea to double down on prevention of dehydration. The general rule is to drink water and do so before you get thirsty. At the same time avoid caffeine and alcohol or any other diuretic.

As part of the prevention issue, knowing the symptoms is premium:
dry mouth, tired or sleepy, headache, dizziness, a few others.

What’s ironic is that my next door neighbor just had to tend to her father in Las Vegas who experience heat stroke, essentially another name for dehydration.

The truth is, dehydration can sneak up on a person if he’s not staying aware, being intentional. I see a lot of parallels with a person’s spiritual life.

What happens when someone “dries out” spiritually? The symptoms will vary, but they are pretty deadly, all of them. If we aren’t hydrated by God’s word, we’ll grow cold toward Him, not responsive to the Holy Spirit. We’re putting ourselves at risk, and we might not even realize it. After all, the people who die of dehydration don’t intentionally set out to put their lives at risk. They just lapse into a dangerous condition because they were careless, forgetful, unaware of their deficiency, of their need.

Staying hydrated spiritually needs to be something we are willing to do as a first priority, not as an optional exercise. If, of course, we want to live healthy spiritual lives.

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Published in: on July 6, 2018 at 5:38 pm  Comments (4)  
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