Do you know why people say “God Bless You” to someone who just sneezed? This was the question posed to me last week in front of the class by one of my 5th grade girls. I replied, “I believe they say that because your heart temporarily stops when you sneeze and saying “God Bless You” is an offer of blessing for the health of the person.” I felt comfortable with my response since I remembered researching that question years ago on a website. The next day she came to me, with trepidation in her voice, and told me that she researched the question herself with her dad and that it was proven to be a myth. She nervously proceeded to inform me that your heart keeps right on beating when you sneeze. I immediately complimented her for taking the time and initiative to do the research on her own. I asked her where she found the information. She then confidently acknowledged that she searched several medical websites and also a medical journal. After praising her again for her effort, that evening I did my own research and sure enough she was correct! According to several medical websites, your heart does not stop when you sneeze. (It was noted, however, that it is theoretically possible that sneezing could change blood flow enough to cause the heart to delay a beat for a fraction of a second.)
The next day I decided to make this a teachable moment for the rest of the class. I acknowledged that what I had believed to be true was incorrect and that I should have been more thorough in my research. I reminded my students how easy it can be for anyone to quickly believe what they read and assume it is the truth. We had a great class discussion about being sure to recheck your findings with at least three other reputable and proven sources before confirming validity.
LIFE LESSON: With so much access to information in our world today, it is easy for us to assume something we read is the truth. We have to remember to check the authenticity and validity of the source. I‘m so grateful for God’s Word, The Bible, which is the only source of absolute truth in this world. It was divinely inspired and has withstood the test of time. Most importantly, its authenticity has been proven through the manifestation of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.
“Lead me by YOUR TRUTH and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.” Psalms 25:5