We thought more of it the next day, however, when their mother (and our daughter) came down with a stomach bug. We thought still more of it the day after that when my wife caught it as well. I myself then thought the most of it when, on the following day, I too, finally caught it!
The old adage says, “This too shall pass.” Fortunately, for each of us in turn, forty eight hours or so later, the upset stomach, nausea, and assorted ill-effects associated with these things finally did. In all of this, as one who does not often get waylaid by such difficulties, I have been reminded of the meaning of the word “Yuk”! After all, there is no better way to describe the feeling you experience whenever a virus has to work its way through your system. Yuk, Yuk, and more Yuk!
It was with a strange sense of synchronicity, then, that I came across the following headline in the news: “Doctor Developed Mr. Yuk.” The article, appearing on www.Newser.com yesterday, was sub-titled: “Richard Moriarty Said the Warning Symbol Was Designed 'By Kids For Kids'”.
According to the article…
Dr. Richard W. Moriarty, a retired pediatrician who helped create the bright green Mr. Yuk sticker that warns kids away from poisonous substances, has died. He was 83. Moriarty died on Thursday in Pittsburgh, according to a funeral home, the AP reports. Moriarty was involved in establishing and developing the Pittsburgh Poison Center, where he served as director. When the poison awareness campaign began in 1971, Moriarty said, the response by children in focus groups to the Mr. Yuk sticker's sickly green color and upset face was instrumental. "The Mr. Yuk symbol was designed by kids for kids," he said.
The mascot has become used nationwide to identify substances that, if ingested, are harmful, per CBS News. Moriarty graduated from medical school at the University of Pittsburgh, where he was a longtime faculty member. Charged with modernizing the Poison Center in the late 1960s, he pioneered data collection, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Physicians like Dr. Moriarty really led the way in putting some logic to poison treatment," said Dr. Alvin Bronstein, one of the creators of the national poison database. Moriarty served on the boards of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Pittsburgh Public Theater.
Although I never knew this man personally, I have certainly seen the sticker he designed. Perhaps you have as well. I’m especially thankful that untold numbers of children since the 1970s have no doubt seen this sticker as well. It has likely saved countless lives.
Kudos to anyone who makes it their goal in life to warn others of anything that is dangerous, and especially poisonous, if ingested. Where would we all be without such life-saving admonitions? How many needless sicknesses, how many needless deaths, how many needless tragedies, would have been suffered otherwise?
In my own case, having been forewarned, I like to think that I would not intentionally ingest poison into my system. While I cannot help ingesting the occasional virus, common cold, or flu, I can refuse to intentionally ingest poisons, especially when others have faithfully and forcefully warned me of the terrible consequences of doing so.
In all of this, I cannot help but see a spiritual parallel. The truth is that I, like all persons, was born into a fallen world with a sinful nature. I was infected with sin from the get go. But I praise God that Christ came to forgive me of my sinful ways and to restore my broken relationship with my Heavenly Father.
But being forgiven does not make me perfect. As long as I live in this world, I remain susceptible to sin. I continuously battle the old nature within me. This is precisely why the Bible continuously admonishes me to beware the power of sin. We see this clearly in both the Old and New Testaments.
The Psalmist bemoaned his involvement with sin in chapter 38, verses 3-8:
“My health is broken because of my sins. My guilt overwhelms me - it is a burden too heavy to bear. My wounds fester and stink because of my foolish sins. I am bent over and racked with pain. All day long I walk around filled with grief. A raging fever burns within me, and my health is broken. I am exhausted and completely crushed. My groans come from an anguished heart.”
The writer of Proverbs echoes this (in chapter 5, verse 22 when he says:
“Iniquities ensnare a man, and every one is bound in the chains of his own sins.”
Little wonder that the New Testament writer of the Book of Hebrews admonishes us In chapter 12, verse 1-2) to...
“throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
I myself have seen the power of sin to corrupt and to destroy. I know what it does, even in the lives of believers, whenever they ingest it. For these reasons, I am thankful for the big blazing “YuK” symbol that God’s Word clearly slaps on its face!
While sin may no longer have the power of death over my eternal soul, it still has the power to make my life “yukky”. And therefore, I will do my best to avoid embracing it in my life.