“The endless knot,” perhaps a metaphor for spam, and our ongoing, never-ending attempts to try to get rid of it…
The first thing I do these days – when I first log in – is go to the “Comments” section and mass-delete the latest batch of spam, most of it having to do with “Babyliss,” apparently a division of Conair Corporation. See e.g., Conair Corporation – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. See also web articles including We Can’t Get Rid Of Spam – Forbes.
Needless to say, such spam – as of this writing I’m “down to” 3,614 of them – is extremely annoying, so much so that I’m tempted to wish that certain body parts will start falling off anyone connected with “Conair” or “Babyliss.” But that isn’t really a Christian attitude, so instead I’m thinking maybe I can derive some comfort from the Apostle Paul’s experience with his own “thorn in the side,” or in the alternative his “thorn in the flesh.”
The article Thorn in the flesh – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, explained that today the phrase “is a colloquialism used to describe a chronic infirmity, annoyance, or trouble in one’s life. It is most commonly used by Christians.” The term comes from Second Corinthians, Chapter 12, under the heading of Paul’s visions and revelations, starting at verse 1:
This boasting is all so foolish, but let me go on. Let me tell about the visions I’ve had, and revelations from the Lord… I have plenty to boast about and would be no fool in doing it, but I don’t want anyone to think more highly of me than he should from what he can actually see in my life and my message. I will say this: because these experiences I had were so tremendous, God was afraid I might be puffed up by them; so I was given a physical condition which has been a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to hurt and bother me and prick my pride.
(The Living Bible translation, emphasis added.) Wikipedia noted that Paul didn’t specify the nature of this physical “thorn in the flesh,” and that through the centuries, “Christians have speculated about what Paul referred to.”
However, if Paul had lived in modern times and had tried to advance his message through a blog like this one, he may very well have been referring to that *&%*@% babyliss spam that keeps coming back like a bad case of [fill in the blank with the expletive of your choice]!!!
See also Paul’s Thorn In The Flesh – Article – Andrew Wommack Ministries, which began:
This thorn in the flesh that Paul mentioned has been used and misused by Christians to justify submitting to nearly any problem that comes along. Satan has twisted this passage of Scripture to deceive many, many people into believing that God would not heal Paul, so how can they expect to be healed? Let us examine this closely and find out exactly what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was.
That brings up another future topic, about how “the Devil can cite Scripture for his use.” (See The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose | EnglishClub, quoting Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, Act 1, scene 3.)
But before that, let’s discuss the concept of Karma. See Karma – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, which defined it as the action, work or deed of an individual, and “also refers to the principle of causality where intent and actions of an individual influence the future of that individual.” (Or in the alternative, “the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.”)
Back in May I published On spam and “angels unaware”. Briefly, I “caused a major firestorm” by attempting to “share his Blog by way of a older-person singles-group email list.” I waxed poetic on that experience showed how it was better to be open-minded, and how even something as bad as spam might illustrate the concept of “entertaining angels unaware.” I then noted:
[U]nsolicited email – also known as “spam” –  certainly does present a major problem for all internet users. (See Unsolicited Bulk Email: Definitions and Problems.) But from that a general principle might be gleaned: While most unsolicited emails present a problem, that doesn’t mean some of them don’t also present an opportunity.
But now – after being victimized by thousands upon thousands of unsolicited, mostly-Babyliss spams – I think I was probably wrong. I now I fully agree with the words of Mister Kurtz:
“The horror, the horror… Exterminate all the brutes!!”
The upper image is courtesy of http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/14/EndlessKnot03d.png.
The lower image is courtesy of http://www.studentpulse.com/article-images/uploaded/348_1.jpg. See also Kurtz (Heart of Darkness) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, and In Heart of Darkness, what does Kurtz mean by his final words … (Mister Kurtz was a central character in Joseph Conrad’s novel.)